The Fallen, part 2
Advisor Neld sighed heavily. “That went well.” Her tone suggested otherwise.
Tashalia lifted a brow and shrugged. What was done was done. “She didn’t know. Besides, do you think she’d meekly step aside and allow the servant to be beaten?”
“Not really. I just wished she had…”
“What? Regardless of the action Lona chose, Kospa would have taken offence. In her mind, Lona is the one who stole what was rightfully hers. Lona can’t allow herself to appear weak. There are many who would have challenged her outright if she hadn’t gone through the risk of impregnating me. There are few who would have even considered it much less risked having their throats slashed. Since she is unofficially considered the bravest woman on the planet, she has some protection.” Tashalia giggled. “I wish I had seen the look on Kospa’s face when Lona tipped over her car!”
Neld grinned. “You are as wicked as Lona. No wonder you suit.”
“No doubt. I should go to my quarters. It’s time for our nap.”
“Do the two of you actually sleep?” Neld’s eyes asked with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Hush,” the Queen answered, her face turning a bit pink. The advisor chuckled and headed back to the main part of the palace. The monarch approached her wing and two guards opened the doors for her. Nodding a silent thank you, she entered the visitor’s room and spotted her mate. Lona jumped to her feet and took her arm.
“You were gone for quite a while. Are you sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard?”
“Then why are you flushed?” Lona asked, her voice worried.
Tashalia blushed. “Because Neld asked me if we actually slept during our naps.”
“Ahh, she caught on eh?” Lona laughed. It was true that sleep wasn’t always their only goal during the afternoon. Their desire hadn’t diminished just because Tashalia was large with child. True, it wasn’t as athletic as when she wasn’t showing, but it was no less intense. “She knows I can barely behave myself with my lovely wife. And she isn’t the only one who figured it out Sweety. The servants are terrible gossips. Actually, a few wondered why I don’t take another mate or two. They seem to think I need sex hourly or something,” she guffawed.
Tashalia smacked her arm as they reached their bedroom. “Brat! Take another mate and I’ll rip her tongue out!”
Lona laughed, both of them knowing neither of them would seek another. She grinned and helped Tashalia to undress. “No, I need no one else. You have spoiled me for any other woman.” Lona dropped the garment to the floor and quickly ripped off her nayst. It joined the crumpled gown on the carpet, forgotten, as she helped ease her mate to the mattress, her mouth already seeking the full lips of her spouse.
Her body slipped into the position that allowed them to kiss comfortably, supporting Tashalia’s lower back. Her mate melted into her strong arms and they began their kiss in earnest, melding and exploring softly. Lona loved kissing this way and could easily live on them, forfeiting even food. The warmth of their gentle passions lapped over her, easing the tensions of the day as she got lost in the sensations. A moan escaped her as Tashalia gently nibbled on her lower lip while her warm fingers were tracing her shoulder and side, causing delightful shivers.
They easily slipped into soft caresses and touches that never failed to please. Lona urged her mate onto her back as she tucked a pillow beneath her knees without thinking about it, the habit so strong. Tashalia took her hand and drew her closer, continuing their hungry kisses. The human hummed against her lips as her free hand explored the silky skin of her mate’s body.
Lona always loved how her mate would undulate under her, but the child made that difficult now. But the human’s arousal was now urged on by the much more vocal woman. Every catch in her breathing, every pleading moan, and each urging word sent Lona further into her sensual haze. Even after nearly a year, she couldn’t get enough of her. Her greedy hands wandered over her smooth flesh as her tongue delved between her lips. Both women were burning up as the kisses got wilder.
Settling her palm around one milk laden breast, the brunette cupped it carefully. Her callused thumb teased the sensitive nipple as it pebbled at her touch. Tashalia groaned and arched slightly as she broke their kiss. The human didn’t pull away her mouth very far, still hoping for more sweet kisses. Instead, she watched her mate’s face as each response reflected upon her features. She kept her touches light, brushing the generous breast with her palm and fingers. Tashalia whimpered softly, each touch so much more intense as her pregnancy increased her sensitivity.
“Kiss them,” she requested, needing the ache to ease. Her eyelids drooped heavily as tender lips whispered soft kisses along her breasts. She hummed in pleasure as a warm tongue laved each stiff peak. Lona had such a perfect touch, always able to read her needs perfectly. The Queen would no sooner think how she’d like a touch done that it was fulfilled. Lona caressed her breasts and shoulders until the queen felt herself growing weak from the constant arousal. The human shifted and returned to her lips, thirsty for more sweetness.
Lona sensed that her mate was nearly as exhausted as she was aroused. She eased her mouth away and helped Tashalia to her side, facing away from her. She took the thick pillow and placed it between her mate’s knees before snuggling up closely behind her. Her hand wandered along Tashalia’s arm and side as it sought her bottom. Burying her nose into Tashalia’s thick dark hair, she nuzzled until she found her hot skin and nibbled along the nape. Tashalia made a noise between a moan and whimper as probing fingers found the source of her desire. Carefully, she explored her mate’s contours before settling on her engorged nub. Using her fingertip, she slid along easily over it, causing Tashalia to cry out softly.
The Queen’s large hand reached behind her to grasp her forearm but didn’t restrict her movements. Lona could easily gauge her desires by this contact. Paying close attention to her every reaction, she continued her soft caresses until she felt the hand squeeze hard. Knowing her mate was hanging on the edge, she slid her fingertip over her entire length. The simple touch sent Tashalia over the top. Lona felt the satisfaction within her own spirit, always blissfully content to bring her such pleasure. She brought her arm around Tashalia and snuggled close, holding her as she caught her breath.
They both settled down and Lona felt her spouse giggle. “What?”
“Neld has no idea why I need these naps as much as you do,” she chuckled merrily, panting. Lona snorted and kissed Tashalia’s shoulder. They drifted off to sleep.
Lona woke when a certain someone kicked at the skin beneath her fingers. Blinking her eyes sleepily, Lona pushed herself up on one elbow and gazed at her mate’s belly.
“Now listen here little girl, kicking either mommy isn’t allowed,” she whispered at the rounded belly.
Tashalia giggled at her silliness. Ever since she started blossoming with the child, Lona has spoken to their daughter. More than once Tashalia almost asked if she thought the baby could understand her. Actually, the Queen wondered herself. The baby always settled down when Lona spoke directly to her. Lona also spent several hours a day just lightly caressing her growing midsection. The queen suspected she was already developing the bond between them that normally didn’t form until after the birth.
Lona smiled at her mate’s giggles and carried on the conversation to make her laugh more.
“And another thing young lady, kicking mommy in the bladder is a no-no too.” Lona paused, almost as though she was listening to someone whisper. “Huh? You want pickled molla sticks?”
“You silly creature,” Tashalia said indulgently. “She doesn’t want those, she wants ice cream. Ouch! She poked my bladder once more, the rude child. I need to get up,” she sighed. Lona threw back the covers and rushed to her feet to help Tashalia from the bed.
“I will be so glad when this is all over,” the Queen grunted as her feet settled on the floor.
“I heard the last month is always the hardest. Not that I ever had any experience with babies.”
“Oh lovely, so we’re both new at this.”
“Yup, but we’ll do fine, I’m sure.” Lona saw that her spouse was having trouble rising and took over. Sliding her hands under the expectant mother, she lifted her up.
“You’re going to hurt yourself!” Tashalia protested.
“Nah, the baby doesn’t weigh that much!”
“But I do! Put me down!”
Lona ignored her and carried her into the bathroom, placing her on the commode. She gave her a quick kiss and left her to her privacy.
“Our daughter has been very quiet these last few days,” Tashalia said nervously.
Lona lifted her eyebrow and placed her palm over the swelling tummy. Her sensitive hands glided over the skin, seeking the baby’s position. “Hmm, I think it’s getting close. Her head has dropped.”
“Lona, it’s too soon. The baby shouldn’t arrive for another two weeks.”
“Babies come when they’re ready Sweety. Besides, humans are only pregnant nine months, not ten like the C’helans,” she said calmly, easing the Queen’s fears. “Have you finally decided on a name? You don’t have a lot of time left,” the older woman asked.
“I still can’t decide. I think I need to see her little face before I can.”
“You sure we can’t name her Lanth?” Lona teased. Tashalia swatted her arm and threatened to give their child the longest name in history.
“And Rumplestiltskin is my name,” Lona said in singsong.
Tashalia looked at her blankly. Lona laughed and told her mate the story of little man who made gold from straw.
“You humans have such wild imaginations. What possible use is gold? Silver is much more valuable.”
“Really? On my world, gold is. Anyway, would you like to hear more?” The Queen nodded. Lona repeated as many tales as she could remember. In listening to the children’s stories, Tashalia grew a better understanding of the human viewpoint on things and an appreciation for their imaginations. Some moral lessons were much the same on both worlds, such as the Dog in the Manger and The Boy who cried Wolf.
The Queen grinned at The Beauty and the Beast, seeing how some would place them in that category. Sometimes Tashalia still didn’t understand the human concept of beauty. Among her own people, she was considered quite plain and Lona the handsome one. Lona thought that hilarious since she grew up being the girl who was barked at in school. Each thought the other attractive, and that was good enough for them.
Anxiety caused by the waiting was getting to Lona. She stared out the second floor window and glared at the horizon, watching the sunrise.
“What’s wrong Lona?” Tashalia asked sleepily from the huge bed.
Lona sighed, not sure she even could explain it well. The C’helans had no concept for it.
“Cabin fever,” she answered with the best translation she could use. Her mate’s confused look made her attempt to explain. “I need to get out of this building. I feel caged and need to run around anywhere but here. My people need to see new views once in a while or they grow restless and irritable.”
The Queen sighed. What Lona wanted was dangerous. She knew without asking that her mate didn’t want an escort of guards along with her. Leaving the safety of the Residence was wrought with dangers she didn’t understand. She glanced at the tense back of her short mate and sighed once more. Lona expected to be told no. Feeling guilty, she suggested a compromise.
“Will you at least take Palla with you?” Lona smiled and agreed.
The head of the Palace Security swallowed hard when she was told to give Lona a tour of the Lema. They were to remain in radio range and try to avoid trouble. Avoid trouble? Were they not speaking of Lona? She bowed to her queen and promised to meet with Lona in the kitchen once she gathered her equipment.
With trepidation, she walked into the bustling kitchen. Lona was finishing off a huge breakfast. She wiped her mouth with a napkin and stood up, eager to leave. Looking over the petite woman, Palla was glad she was at least dressed conservatively. She wouldn’t stand out more than necessary. Without a word, they went outside and got into a nondescript car.
“Could I drive?” Lona asked suddenly. Palla felt her heart stop. In a way, she considered the Queen’s mate a friend, but how could she actually refuse? She thought frantically then headed away from the downtown area to a quiet suburb. Pulling over, she exchanged places with the human. She was about to explain how everything worked when Lona reached down and found the seat adjustment lever. Once satisfied, she set the mirrors and looked over the dashboard then the stick shift, mentally translating. She experimented with the pedals, figuring out which did what.
Lona decided it had to be much like the cars of her own world and quickly shifted into low gear. She lurched once as she gauged the way the clutch handled, quickly going to the next higher gear. Palla held on for dear life until she realized Lona actually knew what she was doing. She drove skillfully, even following the rules of the road.
“Who taught you to drive? You haven’t left the Residence since you crashed,” The security chief asked.
“Dad, oh…about 440 years ago,” she grinned. She loved tweaking the natives. The concept of time travel boggled them. She watched the immense woman shiver. “Where to?”
“Um, what would you like to do?”
“Go fishing,” Lona stated simply.
They rented equipment at the shack and headed down the shore. Quite a few were fishing for their meals and it took a while to find a spot. Palla had to admit she enjoyed fishing but hadn’t done so in years. They opened the bait box and grabbed long insects that resembled millipedes. They tossed their lines into the water and sat back in their rented chairs. Palla opened her beverage and took a drink. The day was warm and she leaned back happily, soaking in the sun.
Lona hummed, “Nice, isn’t it?” Palla agreed with a grunt. They sat in silence, waiting for bites. Palla caught the first fish. It was a runty thing so she tossed it back into the water. They would give away any fish they kept since they wouldn’t return to the Palace until late. She threw out her line and sat back. A few minutes later, the human whooped in pleasure. Her pole bent nearly in half as the bait was taken.
“I got me a whale!” she said in excitement. Palla decided the name must be a human term for large fish. The drag on the reel was being tested, the line whining as the game fish ran with the hook. Lona attempted to pull the pole and slow the fish. Whatever she caught refused. Palla was astounded as the powerful alien was actually dragged several feet towards the water.
“Perhaps you hooked onto a fishing net. Cut the line!”
“Nope, fish or boat, it’s mine!” Lona said with determined humor. The Security Chief watched the line travel one way then another. It had to be a fish—and a trophy fish at that. A woman from further up shore caught the action and waved others over. Before long a crowd gathered around the straining woman. They cheered her on, all wanting to see her land it. No one had recognized her, but Palla knew it was a matter of time. A trophy fish often got printed in the local newspaper. She secretly wished it would get away.
The heat was getting to Lona, so she asked Palla to grab her outer shirt and help her out of it. They managed to pull away each sleeve fast so her hands could quickly return to the pole. Glancing at the crowd, Palla saw several hungry looks as they viewed the heavily muscled woman. At least she was tanned. Her once uniquely pale skin was no longer starkly fair. Maybe the people would be too busy ogling her biceps to notice her face beneath the dark glasses and hat.
The battle continued. Lona would manage to turn the reel several times only to have the fish pull away again. Didn’t the thing ever get tired? Suddenly, the tension was gone. Had the line snapped? She reeled quickly until it tightened once more. Aha, the fish was merely resting. A shadow in the water caught her eye. Blinking, she asked Palla if there were any water mammals in the lake. Told there wasn’t, she was relieved. If the huge thing had been warm-blooded, she would have felt badly. As it was, it looked like the size of a large shark. Gulping, she asked if any of the fish had big teeth. Palla laughed.
“If it had teeth, your line would have been severed by now.”
Lona nodded then almost got pulled into the lake as the creature once more ran with the line. Her boot found a protruding rock in the dirt and she braced against it. She pulled on the pole and then spun the reel as she leaned forward. She inched the fish closer to shore. A fin rose above the water. The crowd gasped and someone said it had to be a large pel’tal. Lona never heard the word before. The creature splashed in the shallows, trying to get back into deep water, but was clearly exhausted. Pulling hard, the human managed to drag it onto the pebbled beach to the cheering of the watching audience.
Just as tired, she plopped down onto the ground and uncurled her cramping fingers from around the pole. Palla slapped her on the back. “That is the largest pel’tal I have ever seen! Look, here comes a photographer. Let her take the picture and get ready to leave. It’ll be a circus once they find out who you are,” she warned. Several beefy women rolled a cart to the shore and lifted the fish onto it. They informed Lona they would weigh it at the rental shack. Nodding in agreement, she and Palla gathered the rented equipment and headed for the building.
The hideously ugly trophy fish was put up on a scale as they returned the equipment. A man peered at the scale and shouted that it weighed 32.6 stahns. The watching crowd looked up at the record chart posted on the wall. It had bested the former pel’tal by nearly half a stahn. Lona converted in her head. It came to about a little under 100 pounds, although with the planet’s lighter gravity it felt more like 35 pounds. Not bad for her first time fishing in the lake. She grinned hugely when she was ushered to the hanging fish. The photographer set up her camera on a tripod and focused.
“Take off your glasses and smile,” she suggested.
Here goes nothing, Lona thought, and took off her dark sunglasses. The crowd gasped, making the photographer look up at her without the lens.
“By the Holy One!” she bellowed.
“Nah, just little o’ me,” she grinned. “Now take the picture so I can get out of here.”
The woman bent over her camera and snapped several shots in a row when her thumb wouldn’t release the button. Several people rushed towards her, wanting to get near the alien consort. Many asked her to pose for personal shots but Palla took her elbow and urged her towards the car.
“What shall I do with her fish?” the shack owner shouted.
“Raffle it off and give the money to charity!” Lona yelled back, slipping into the passenger seat.