TKoT Vol. 3: Chains of the Heart

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36: Fall of the Thrall

Oliver’s stress had been released; all the months of worrying about what would’ve happened had been removed. Andrea laid at his side; he held her tightly, his arms wrapping around her. Her chest expanded and retracted with each breath she took. Oliver noticed, her black horns were gone. Another piece of the puzzle was Andrea; she had complained that was the one part she could not hide as much as she tried.

Andrea opened her eyes and stretched out with a yawn. Placing her hands on his arms, turning to look back at Oliver. A thin smile graced her lips, “Morning.”

“How did you sleep last night?” He asked.

“Best night of rest I have had in months. I don’t even recall having much of a dream, other than I felt safe. No nightmare at all.”

Oliver recalled the dream with every detail; she did not remember it. Maybe the whole thing was just in his head; either way, the dream was not a nightmare for either of them.

Oliver moved his hands over her head, where her horns used to be. Andrea immediately noticed the difference; she had a shock of surprise on her face as she brought her hands up to his. “My horns! They are gone!”

“I don’t think so, just pulled in. I figure I was the last piece of that puzzle. Something you needed.” He kissed her gently on the forehead.

Oliver slowly moved her body around so he could get out of bed. He moved to his dresser in vain to look for some clothes to wear. Oliver pulled out a set of black trousers and a shirt. All the while, he searched for his other articles that Andrea did not destroy last night.

Andrea just pushed herself back into the bed. “Oliver, where is your blanket? The red one with the stripes?”

“I burned it.” Oliver quipped as he left the room.

“Oh, sorry about that,” Andrea giggled nervously. That was the blanket she shared an intimate day with Charmeine under the tree. Actually, she wasn’t sorry about the blanket being burned. It meant she succeeded in gaining Oliver’s attention and stroked his jealousy. Victory!

Oliver entered the Kitchen; he could already smell cooking; Charmeine had already started breakfast. His muscled body had been under stress from Andrea’s touch. He was still a bit pale, some parts even a bit wrinkly. He looked back at Oliver, “I am a bit jealous that my wife chose you as well. If this makes her happy, that is all that is important.”

Oliver pulling a chair out, sat down at the table. The footsteps softly coming down the stairs from the upstairs had Oliver turn towards the entryway. Andrea popped around the corner, wearing her usual, nothing. He sighed, “Andrea, Cloths.”

“Master, everybody here has seen me naked.”

“You should not give orders to Ka’Azalin. It’s not your place.” Charmeine growled.

Oliver’s eyebrow raised, “Tell Charmeine to hop on one foot.”

“What?” Andrea, puzzled, looked at Oliver.

Charmeine had picked up one of the heavy frying pans and tightly gripped the handle.

Oliver turned to Andrea, “Humor me, my love.”

She turned towards Charmeine and issued her commands, “Ahh, okay. Charmeine. Hop on one foot. Up and down like a chicken.”

Charmeine started hopping on one foot, “Like this?”

Andrea looked back at Oliver, “What the hell.”

Oliver speaking with a stern look on his face, “Go get dressed. We need to talk.”

She turned back and ran back upstairs, she returned a few minutes later wearing one of Oliver’s longer shirts, and that was all; Charmeine was still hopping. “Charmeine, you can stop now.”

Charmeine let out a bit of a sigh of relief, “Thank you. My leg was getting tired. I will continue with breakfast unless there is anything else you desire.”

Oliver smiled, he enjoyed watching Charmeine jump around for a few moments, but he also knew what had happened.

Andrea sat down. “Alright, what’s wrong with Charmeine. He does not act like that.”

“I will have to restart; I am sorry I burned the food.” Charmeine looked sad; he wanted to fry up some vegetables for Andrea. The contents of the iron skillet looked as brown as the sun had dried them.

Oliver took her hand, “He has lost his will. He now only serves you, without any thought or consequence of his actions. Only what you want, or what he thinks you want.”

Andrea remembered the word, Thrall. “I made Charmeine my thrall? I don’t want him as a thrall. I want him as Charmeine.” she paused, “Charmeine, place your hands up in the air.”

Charmeine looked back at her with a smile; he placed his hands up in the air.

“No, no. no. I broke him; I broke Charmeine.” She realized what she had done. “Charmeine, go back to cooking.”

Charmeine lowered his hands, “Yes, my lady.”

“He’s not talking like he did yesterday; it’s different. How did this happen.” Oliver heard the panic in her voice.'sOliver understood this all too well, had this been another succubus, Charmeine would have been in a world of torment. “You have been in his mind while feeding. You gave him pleasure or pain while in the act. This creates a bond between you and him; this bond is more one way. This magic strips him of his own will and replaces it with yours. At this moment, he will do anything you ask. You ask him to kill someone, and he will do it to please you. You are his world from now on.” Oliver had been Heather's thrall for months; this is what he feared the most about Andrea. This is why he would not allow her to enter his head. He hoped that his link would not create such a similar situation.

Andrea looked back at her feathery fool, then back to Oliver. “How do I fix him.”

“Don’t feed on him for a few months; the time will weaken his desires to serve you. Send him to the priests of Toluene for mental purification. In his state right now, he will not regret any order you give him. If you give him orders and those commands are dark, something that is against his nature, he will regret it and despise you after he regains his will. Is that something you want to live with? I know from experience it leaves a scar on your soul. Do you want to do that to Charmeine?”

Andrea shook her head, “No. I like him. He’s a good friend to me. He is someone I care deeply about. I don’t want to hurt him.”

Oliver used this chance; it might seem a bit petty. “You should let him go. Send him back to the priest of Toluene.”

Andrea looked sad; though she had initially intended to use him to get to Oliver, Charmeine had grown on her. He had become a friend and a lover. “You are right; I will have to let him go. I got to tell you about what happened that night I took him as my mate. We were both being played by outside forces; another god wants us to have a child. The child is something I included in the pact I made with him.”

Oliver held him in shock. “Wait. What?”

Andrea paused, “Somewhere down the line, I have a feathery daughter with him. It was one of his driving reasons for attacking me. I have seen the dream he had. Dreams motivate us to do something that a god wants. Now I have broken him. I will let him go, but I will watch him from a distance. I will keep him safe; I think that means I need to get him as far away from me as possible.”

Andrea tapped her fingers on the table. “As much as I would like to continue with our bedroom activities, we leave for Floastone tomorrow. I will want to tell Mr. Morgan that I am done with him, a nice way of saying goodby.”

Oliver’s thoughts reached back, and he remembered the last dream he had about Mr. Morgan, Andrea getting angry with his death and destroying the Shady Tams and anything in her way searching for Mr. Morgan. “I don’t think that would be a good idea. He does not like to take no for an answer. He will more than likely try to use Charmeine or me as leverage against you.”

“Hmmm, I will turn Charmeine over to the priests. They will protect him.”

“Ka’Azalin, I don’t want to be without you. My life and soul belong to you; don’t deny me your embrace.” Charmeine turned over to Andrea. The worry was evident on his face. “Did I do something wrong?”

“No, go back to cooking, and don’t worry. All is well.” Andrea was now annoyed with herself; she had poor Charmeine under her complete mental control. She did not like this, “Now I truly understand what you were afraid of.” She placed her hands on her head and lowered her arms to the table.

Charmeine, still worried, went back to his cooking.

Oliver remembered that in his dream, they already had Charmeine as a hostage as well. He will need to ensure that this conversation and the delivery go off simultaneously, thus giving Mr. Morgan no time to take Charmeine.

“I will have Clara and Varriss escort Charmeine to the Temple, and we will visit Mr. Morgan at the same time. Thus we don’t give Mr. Morgan time to create his leverage against you.”

“I don’t want to go. You can’t make decisions for me, Oliver! I won’t let you try and force me away from Ka’Azalin. She’s my wife!” Charmeine flexed his muscles, picking up a spare frying pan, not wanting to use the one he was cooking on. No need to waste Ka’Azalin’s morning meal on such a fool.

Andrea looked a bit bewildered; she had never seen Charmeine act like this before. “Charmeine. No. go back to cooking. That’s what I want you to do. You will take orders from Master Martin. That is my will.”

Charmeine shrugged and looked defeated. “I am sorry, Ka’Azalin.” He turned the frying pan down and continued to stir the frying vegetables.

“Mr. Morgan will want to use me as a leverage point at his meeting; I have a plan to stop that. You will have to trust me on that.” Oliver knew what was about to happen, he had seen the vision already, but he also knew how to counter it.

Charmeine brought the hot plate of fried vegetables and placed the plate proudly in front of Andrea. “None for you.” He turned to Oliver with a pointing finger.

Andrea scoffed at the idea; she was about to order Charmeine to make Oliver a plate when he shook his head. “That’s fine. I have some preparation to do. We should all get ready; it’s going to be a long day.”

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