Scouts are tripled, the Requiem army is spread and put on standby and Thaddeus and Sylvan are told to do what they can in terms of back up plans. My parents stay with the council and Lochness is told to rest, but of course, he disregards such logic and says he will be on patrol for internal scouting of the Requiem mountains.
Now, I am with Sylvan and Thaddeus inside guest room 12 as they both agreed to speak with me about the visions that Sylvan has been witnessing with his Prophet’s Eye.
I sit down on the couch by the fire and Sylvan and Thaddeus sit opposite me, allowing me some space for once in my life.
“We don’t have much time to discuss these particular visions but I did agree to inform you, Luvenia,” Sylvan speaks professionally even though I know they’re both going to rub in the inevitable.
I tap my fingers along the back of my couches’ leather as I fight internally for some sort of inner peace.
Thaddeus looks solemn and I know it’s because Sylvan informed him of his most recent vision through their mental link.
“Sylvan,” I reply, slowly and with as much patience as possible, “I do want those details... and then I promise you... after this short and brief conversation is over, even though no decision will be given at the end of it, as I need time to think, I will help organise some back up plans as well with my friends, plans that won’t allow exposure to being taken hostage.”
“One moment,” Thaddeus puts up his hand and closes his eyes and indeed, there is a reason he is so concentrated.
The guest room door swings open a moment later and I see my mother standing with her arms crossed over her chest.
“I assume you are talking about me,” Madeline holds her chin high even with the leather collar adorning her as she slyly shuts the door and skims over the floor to face us.
“No,” I instantly retort, the same time as Sylvan and Thaddeus.
“Oh, really?” Madeline raises a brow and holds her red dress close to her stomach as she finally admits, “I overheard Sylvan say my name... and I overheard that I will die in our victory.”
“Oh, really?” Sylvan mimics my mum and pretends to look confused, “Sounds like you misheard what I said.”
“I will not tell anyone,” Madeline waltzes over and I shuffle along the seat to let her sit, while I gulp and try to smile... which isn’t natural for me, “My children and my mates live in this mountain with a large number of people I love. I will not worry them sick.”
“You’re not going to die, mum,” I blurt out as we all realise she isn’t going to be fooled.
“But Sylvan said -”
“No,” I cut her off and glance at Sylvan, “I simply have to let them brand me and let them lead in the... uh... relationship, and you won’t die. It’s a double date with destiny, mum. If I do that, you live.”
“...well that doesn’t sound suspicious at all,” Madeline whispers to me even though Sylvan and Thaddeus can hear.
“It’s not a game,” Sylvan speaks, gruffly as he tries to keep his calm with my mother sitting right opposite him, “From my Prophet’s Eye, all our paths are laid by choices. We all have choices and things that make us into better people. Sometimes when the easy option is taken, bad things happen. When the hard path is chosen... the karma from the struggle is rewarding to the whomever takes on the more difficult approach.”
“Okay, then, young man,” Madeline talks down to Sylvan but with a question in her tone, “Tell me how it benefits my daughter for you to put a collar on her.”
“That’s not what they want to do,” I hiss, going red in the face, especially when Sylvan and Thaddeus don’t look fazed and simply look calm. Too calm.
“Luvenia is self reliant,” Thaddeus speaks next, while speaking to my mother and avoiding my gaze, “She doesn’t need someone to lead her. But she wants us to.”
“No, I do not,” I shake my head and Sylvan manages to smirk and chuckle as he slowly leans back into his couch.
“We do not have time to discuss what you want or don’t want, Luvenia,” Sylvan puts up a hand, “After our conversation here we’re going to help organise the mountain. Let’s get down to facts, not emotion. If you don’t give into us and you resist and cause trouble, perhaps you’ll cause us to fail to maintain order within our ranking soldiers... like right now in that you are delaying our other duties... because I have to explain to you how my Prophet’s Eye works,” Sylvan is critical of me, and I simply stand up and point to the door.
“Go then, the discussion is moot. I will protect my own mother,” I do not blink as I glare my mates down.
A strange silence descends and then they begin to rise.
Until a voice booms through our heads and it’s Dragon Lord Hael’s command to every being in the Requiem Mountain range.
War is here, but it is not immediate. Two spy Fire-Spitters have been captured, caged and questioned separately. We have guaranteed two days peace before an army of Silver Breeds arrive on our door step at any time. That fact is real but that doesn’t mean we’re safe from rogue operations. Keep alert. Stick to your new assigned curfews. At any sign of trouble, contact the nearest Dragon to communicate the issue. If we lose, we will be enslaved or turned to stone for eternity. I suggest you keep your wits about you and pray no guard to an entrance falls asleep again, or I will whip some sense back into the lot of you. A minor slip nearly cost the lives of my twin brother and my daughter and countless others. Shadow Assassins do not respond well to fire, every guard must keep a burning torch with them. Women and children, stay safe behind locked doors or in designated communal areas... and if anyone spots my runaway mate, escort her to Deep Cavern or she’ll soon face the same punishment any member of the Requiem Horde would encounter, for disobeying direct commands in this time of great stress.
“...mum,” I turn to her and she rolls her eyes.
“I’m fine, I’ll return after I understand Sylvan and Thaddeus’ intentions properly,” Madeline looks between all of us, “It is my life on the line and I do not want to worry my mates. But, I must know as much as I can.”
“I had a vague vision of you winning our battle and losing your life,” Sylvan admits, carefully, “...but the vision only intensified after your daughter has been continuously rejecting... well... how do I put this lightly. Rejecting our advances. We haven’t bonded. We haven’t shared our brand. Hell, we’re not even together, we are simply destined to be mates but our bond is not complete.”
“Well, then, you have your answer and that is your trouble,” Madeline smiles and nods, before slyly glancing at me, “...you are the issue, Luv.”
“You know you don’t have to take sides with them,” I complain and recoil back into my corner of the couch, “I’m your daughter, remember? Nessy’s babygirl, his babycakes. He ripped that Silver Breed apart after he described what he’d do to me. What I don’t understand is why these two aren’t ripped in half yet either.”
“...because they are not strangers,” Madeline speaks quietly, “Mates are not to be feared but embraced. I fought your fathers for years. Embracing them was a lot easier and far more rewarding. I do not speak for mortal relationships but solely the bonds with Dragons. You are half Dragon and read minds. You are scared because you understand so well how their minds differ from a mortal’s brain. The reality is Dragons are Monsters,” Madeline sounds so morbid but she’s smiling never the less. Thankfully, however, she softens her tone, “You’re not going to lose anything, in any way, when you give yourself to them, Luv. Just remember who you are. Remember who you are. Remember that. That is all you need. Giving in to let them love you and protect you is not going to hurt you or work in your disfavour. It will boost you. It will enlighten you. There is a certain power in submission. Especially to Dragons.”
“...but...mum... they’re practically half-bloods too. I know that their mother was a Blood Raven but... I just... don’t... never mind. You should probably get back to Hael,” I watch her rise and she gives me a wink.
“You’re scared of Dragons who love you,” Madeline rubs it in, “Think about that.”
“It doesn’t feel like that,” I complain regardlessly as she walks off and I see Sylvan and Thaddeus trying not to smirk as they hide their mouths with a casual hand on their chins.
“Well, Luv, I’ll die if you don’t let your mates love you... it sounds silly, doesn’t it?” Madeline grabs the door and swings it open.
But I can’t help but add.
“Love doesn’t need collars,” I add, through gritted teeth. I don’t want to offend her too much but she still looks back at me, hurt.
She opens her mouth to reply then quickly shuts it, shaking her head in exasperation as she storms out and slams the door shut.
“Wait,” Thaddeus puts up a hand just as I jump to my feet, my cheeks red with embarrassment now that I’m left with them.
“What do you want?” I snarl, turning to see him put up two hands in fake surrender.
“To talk,” Thaddeus nods at me, ”To talk, nothing else, I swear it.”
“To talk,” Sylvan nods also, narrowing his eyes at me with calculation, “How about we talk about last night, now that we have two days to relax and focus on private matters.”
“I kicked your asses by humming a small tune, that’s what happened,” I smile proudly and Sylvan surprises me by nodding with Thaddeus, “...at least you admitted to that,” I take a seat again, happy by that one huge admission on their part by a simple nod from each of them, “Thank you for acknowledging that.”
“You are powerful,” Sylvan speaks tightly but then tries to soften his tone as he adds, “...but you’re... uh... I’m trying to think of a word or a phrase that won’t blow your temper, sweet heart.”
“Calling me sweet heart nearly blew that temper, dear,” I return the favour, but only to be a smart ass.
“We’re animals,” Thaddeus takes over and decides to be more brash, “You want to get fucked and we want to help you with that. It’s not degrading. It’s not demeaning... it’s... normal, Luvenia.”
“Wearing a collar, where does that fit into anything...?” I ask, a little bit on edge.
“Frankly, if you were on top, fucking us, being in control... which would never happen, by the way... you’d be tight, stuck up and cold,” Sylvan tries to explain, “Not in a good way.”
“My nether regions aren’t good enough for you?” I almost yell it, but quickly clasp my hands together to stop them shaking with adrenaline, “...they’re cold, are they?”
“You sound ridiculous. This is a matter of kinks. Some girls like it on top... you, well, you’d like to be at the bottom,” Sylvan points out.
“I don’t know that, I haven’t tried that, how would you know... don’t answer that -” he cuts me off anyway.
“I wouldn’t be so sure if I didn’t have a vision of you begging us to take you again, while you were on your hands and knees... and no, we weren’t laughing at you, sweet heart... you were the sexiest, most beautiful woman we’d ever see in our life time. Incredibly attractive and fuckable... and incredibly wet,” Sylvan glances at his brother who is gazing at my breasts.
“...but she didn’t come to us easy,” Thaddeus murmurs.
“That’s right, I remember,” I add, slowly while leaning forward with my elbows on my knees, “I don’t make it easy. I’m a fighter.”
Sylvan and Thaddeus go quiet as my eyes wander briefly over their arms and shoulders, veiny, huge and fully grown. I still couldn’t get over how impressive they had both become. So perfect and now renown across the lands as unstoppable in battle. It was the type of power you wanted to test just to see it come into full affect. To feel the dominance... the dominance.
I gulp as my eyes gloss over as I remember my sexual fantasies about them.
When they had been gone, I touched myself while thinking of them in a particular light. I never ordered the best war lords around... they ordered me around.
They... I admit, they were the dominant ones in the sexual fantasises.
It was just that, reality was different, because, you know, it was reality. People thought beyond sexual fantasies and hormones. Letting them completely dominate me would be sexually gratifying but I was terrified of the over reaching consequences.
Like how they’d treat me in front of others and how they’d speak to me afterwards when I wasn’t horny.
“Let’s make a deal, shy princess,” I jerk back out of my thoughts to see Sylvan staring right into my eyes and I get a feeling he caught right onto my loudly projected thoughts.
“What deal?” I whisper, feeling fidgety now that my thoughts were exposed and they both knew my truest emotions and my heart’s desire.
“Nothing outside our bedroom, wherever that space may be, leaves that ‘bedroom’,” Sylvan spells it out slowly, “Nothing about what we do to you in privacy, will be known to others.”
“Submit to us in here,” Thaddeus murmurs, while blinking slowly in satisfaction at his own words, “And out there... we can just be friends. We don’t even have to show affection.”
“Just because I’m a Rogue doesn’t mean I want to be completely shown the cold shoulder in public. You can be affectionate, I don’t mind,” I murmur, already liking their suggestion because they were genuine. Reading into their thoughts a bit deeper, I could tell there were no catches.
I finally relax a bit and I even manage to... smile... slightly.
“That... honestly, doesn’t sound so bad,” I look up to the ceiling and my smile slowly breaks out into a grin, “A private sex life sounds good to me. Anything goes but nothing stays outside the walls that we... fuck in,” I try out the words and flush a bit as I glance back down to see my mates sharing knowing looks.
Perhaps they thought right now was a good idea to follow through on the deal.
But, just the thought suddenly has me nervous, but in a completely different type of way.
“So, we should probably get started on working on our back up plans,” I change the subject and slowly get to my feet.
“Brother,” Sylvan stands with Thaddeus at the same time that I have, “Lock the door.”
“The door is open to me,” I snap in defence, ” I can leave anytime I want.”
“I read your exact thoughts, princess,” Sylvan intercepts me by stepping around the small coffee table and putting a firm hand on my shoulder, “...your exact thoughts... and a slight glimpse into an exposed fantasy.”
“What fantasy?” I try to play coy but Sylvan slowly presses on my shoulder until I bend my knees and he pushes me down onto the couch again.
“Sit,” Sylvan slowly drops to his knees on the ground and casually places an arm over the leather seat and over my thighs, grasping one of my knees in a strong hand, “Just sit.”
“Um... okay,” I glance up to see Thaddeus finish locking the door with a key. He eventually comes back over and when he sees me, he sits on the couch opposite me again.
I didn’t expect so much... distance.
I had thought they were going to pounce on me.
“Luvenia,” Sylvan squeezes my knee and looks up at me, “You have two choices. Would you like to hear them?”
“Sure,” I don’t know what he is referring to yet but he sounds too calm for it to be anything sane.
“You can either undress and choose your spot for your brand, or we can forcefully strip you naked and choose foryou,” Sylvan squeezes my knee another time and glances up at me sheepishly, “Either way, you’ll get the brand... the second choice... though... that way... you can test... our strength?” he can’t keep a straight face and ends up smirking widely just as Thaddeus bursts out laughing.
“I’d love to show her,” Thaddeus eventually murmurs and I realise... this ‘distance’... wasn’t a show of mercy.
They were both making fun of me.
And they were both being major dicks about it.
“Get your hand off my knee, right this second,” I warn Sylvan with a monotone; the calm before the storm.
“Or what, you’ll move my arm for me? Try it, sweety,” Sylvan leans further into the couch and simply sits there looking content as ever while Thaddeus leans back into his couch with his bulging arms crossed over his massive chest and a cocky bright blue eyebrow raised.
“I’m not doing this right now,” I whisper, menacingly, “I have to agree to mucking around like this before we -”
“No,” Sylvan cuts me off, “No, no, no... what occurs behind these doors, stays. However, remember, when it’s us three, and we are alone, you no longer have rights nor a say nor a hand in what happens to you. Thad, am I missing any points, or is she just gaping right now so we can gag her mouth shut easily... that’s not like her to be so compliant, is it, brot-” Sylvan doesn’t get to finish as I curl my fist and aim to break his nose.
I don’t like what Sylvan said, in that attitude, and my fist happens to brush the skin, but it only skims the surface of his nose, because his other hand raises lightening fast and grips my wrist before I can make an actual impact with my swing.
“Bad choice, Luv,” Sylvan starts to stand and I struggle widely as he reaches for my other wrist. But before I know it, he flips me around until his hand is on my neck, pushing my face into the couch and flipping my legs up onto the other end.
He lies me flat and I expect him to sit on top of me, but instead, he lies flat across me, with his hands quickly snapping around both my wrists. I turn my cheek into the couch and glare at Thad as Sylvan smirks down at me. I can feel his giant body simply weighing mine down from above.
“Feeling a little helpless there, Luv?” Thad asks as he stands and casually walks to the fire place where the branding stick is now located. My eyes widen as he picks it up but I quickly feel Sylvan’s legs go either side of mine, clasping mine together nice and tight.
“Her right cheek,” Sylvan murmurs above.
“No,” I shake my head and Sylvan just lies his whole weight onto me, pressing the breath out of my lungs as he nips my ear between sharp teeth and his hot breath rolls down my neck.
“This is fun,” Sylvan growls before he leans back and glances at my cheek again from above, “Mmm... it’ll look beautiful on your face, Luv... like a bad ass warrior’s tattoo. Aren’t I right, Thad?” Sylvan looks up to Thaddeus, who swings the branding stick around while it glows bright red from his flames.
“Why not on my back or my leg or my arm?” I ask, begging.
“She’s right,” Sylvan gasps, pretending to sound shocked, “I forgot while pressing my dick into her ass that we need to get these silly clothes off her body... so we can do a thorough inspection... of perhaps a private place to put our mark of possession?” Sylvan asks in a silly whisper, “A symbol.”
“For what goes between us, stays between us,” Thaddeus growls in acceptance and I’m no longer squished into the couch.
Sylvan rises above me and he pulls me up with him to stand.
It’s only because he’s going to strip me naked next, while Thaddeus played guard with the branding stick.
However, this time... my limbs were starting to feel languid, especially after Sylvan had lain on top of me like that and warmed me up while pushing the breath out of my lungs... which happened to be the exact fantasy he caught onto when I had thought about my favourite fantasy sex scenes too loud... and he had played that one out for me.
Now, I was a little lost for words.