This story discusses slavery, physical and mental abuse, same-sex and multiple partnerships. Please do not read if this will offend you.
BOOK 3 OF THE TARRANNA SERIES
The morning after their wedding, Tarranna and Tashan were up early, finished their run and were having a quiet cup of tea while Lili and Chandral indulged in a late sleep in. The women chatted quietly as they worked on their list of Royal Guard candidates for Deltan and Geon.
Tarranna looked up as something caught her eye. “The dragons are home… What the heck is up with them?” Both women jumped up from the table and ran outside. The three large dragons stood around their small brother who lay on the ground, contractions pulled his body into awkward positions.
Tarranna gently held Tashan and demanded the woman look into her eyes. “He's growing to his next size. I know it looks painful for him but Alansa assures us it's not. The only thing we can do for him is sit and wait until it's finished.” Tarranna kissed Tashan's forehead. “It is going to be really hard to watch, trust me. But he'll be fine soon.”
Tashan looked from Tarranna to Garriil and cringed as the baby dragon writhed around on the ground. Tashan forced back tears as Tarranna hugged her and the women moved to a grassy spot nearby. They sat companionably on the lawn, Tarranna with her arm around the blonde and Tashan's head on her shoulder. “Just think, when he's done, the little bugger's gunna have proper wings!”
Tashan laughed as she reluctantly wiped her eyes on her sleeve. Tarranna pulled a slightly used handkerchief from her pocket and handed it to the woman. Tashan looked at the offering, saw the dried food in one corner and raised her eyebrow at Tarra. “It's only biscuit from Macgaven's face.” Tashan smiled and used it to clean her face. The women watched as the three large dragons flew off the ground and away from the area. “They're probably getting him some food. Apparently they get ravenous after the change… Did we ever tell you what happened when the other three evolved the first time?” Tashan shook her head so Tarranna distracted the blonde by making her laugh at her rendition of what had happened.
As Tarranna finished her tale, they heard laughter coming from behind them.
“Well I'm not at all surprised!” Lili sat between Tarranna's legs and took Tashan's hand. Chandral sat next to Tashan and kissed her. Chandral looked over Tashan's head and smiled at her sister. “I just got a message about Melanger. It seems our little ‘demons' were busy last night.” Chandral chuckled as she recounted what she'd been told by her informant. “Apparently they snuck into his room, found every pair of shoes he had with him and slobbered in one boot of each pair.” She laughed louder. “That wouldn't have been so bad but they only did it in the left shoes. He can't even mix a pair! They even had time for Garriil to gnaw on Melanger's favourites.”
The women joined her laughter and Lili said. “Bellan told me the dragons were with the kids for half the night. So they must have visited Melanger then headed home.”
“Well that does explain him coming back here to change. The little rat's been enjoying himself way too much!!” Tarranna chuckled.
The Guardians watched the horizon as Garriil's siblings appeared and slowly got closer. They were each carrying a carcass and when they landed Chandral said a quick prayer to the Mother, honouring the beasts. Silvana, Terran and Ash eagerly watched the final stages of their brother's change.
The Guardians checked Garriil and discovered he had stopped wriggling and looked like he was about to wake up. Tashan sat up straighter and Lili squeezed her hand in support. “He's so much bigger now. He even looks around the size the others were when they first changed!” Tashan sighed in relief.
Garriil stood and stretched his new adolescent body. His practically non-existent wings had been upgraded and were now each over five feet long. His tiny body was now larger than a small horse. His colouring was more vivid, his baby features more defined and his body was well on the way to becoming streamlined. Garriil stretched his wings to full size, hovered off the ground for a few minutes then roared. He landed and walked shakily to where the women sat on the grass.
Tashan motioned for him to rest near her and he crawled as close as possible to her and placed his head on her lap. She picked up his head and kissed his face. “I'm so happy you're not dying! You scared the living heck out of me! You are so beautiful. Look at your lovely new wings! You're a very special baby and I love you very much…” Tashan babbled as she continued to rub and scratch his face as the other Guardians stroked his body and also talked to the Mystic.
Terran, Silvana and Ash shrunk and ran to where their brother was getting his attention. They crawled all over his bigger body and happily licked his face and nose. They then settled on their mummies laps and accepted their share of cuddles and rubs. Before long, Garriil's stomach growled and he sat up. He hungrily eyed the carcasses and moved closer to them. The Mystic picked up one of the offerings and flew to a nearby stand of trees where he lay down and ate. He returned twice for the rest of his meal before he walked back to the women. His siblings grew to approximately his size and licked his face clean. He returned the favour before he lazed on the lawn next to Tashan. He put his head on the ground next to hers and she smiled at him before absent mindedly scratching his back.
Tashan sat up and looked Garriil in the eye “We got a message about Melanger.” Garriil grinned at her as he lifted his head and looked at his mum. “Apparently someone left him lots of little presents. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?” Garriil nodded and rubbed his face in her chest. “You do realise that was very naughty don't you?” Garriil hung his head. She put her hand under his chin and lifted his face. “I'm not cranky, just don't do it too often. Wait a while before you do anything like that again. He won't be expecting it that way.”
“Tashan!!” Lili was mortified.
Tashan snorted “Hey, the man did challenge the babies, he started it!” Chandral and Tarranna laughed at their partners but stayed well out of the argument.
Lili gasped “If you encourage this they'll do it to other people who don't know they're mucking around.”
“You'll promise not to torment anyone else, won't you guys?” Tashan looked at the dragons, stunned when they all put their heads on the ground and steadfastly refused to look at her. She looked at Garriil and demanded his attention “Did you stir someone else up last night?” Garriil suddenly raised his head and shook it negatively. “Are you going to stir someone else in the near future?”
Garriil looked at his siblings then lowered his head. “Would those people happen to be us, Garriil?” The dragon looked at Lili and slightly nodded his head. Lili lifted Terran off the ground and looked her square in the eye. “You did the seaweed on purpose didn't you?” Terran grinned and nodded. “You little sneaks!! Tarranna was right!!”
Lili kissed Terran on the nose then put her on the ground nearby. “Alright you lot, over here!” The dragons walked with their heads low and stood in front of Lili. “You too Garriil, you need to hear this!” Lili waited until he was in position before she continued. “You lot are in for a lot of payback!! You realise that right?” The dragons looked up, at each other and then to Lili. They nodded. “There has to be rules and the first one is that you only play with Melanger and us, and only when we're not working. Days like today are ok because no one is depending on us to help them. OK?”
The dragons sat on their haunches! They looked at each other then nodded at Lili.
Tashan made the next rule. “Whatever you do you cannot cause anyone to get hurt.” The dragons nodded again.
“Maybe we should take this in turns. The dragons started it, so we should get the next shot. Then they can go again. That way one side can't get too out of control… And maybe have a time frame. No tricks can be played say for three months after the last one.” Chandral added. The dragons nodded again.
“Melanger should be fair game when he's not with the army.” Tarranna grinned evilly. “And to both teams.” The dragons grinned in pleasure, they even started to purr.
“Oh Tarra, is that really a good idea?” Lili laughed.
Tarranna was serious. “You bet. But no more wrecking his shoes. We can't do anything that hinders his ability to do his job.” She let her imagination run riot and liked many of her ideas. “We could even team up to harass him.” Ash ran to his mummy and licked her face, he could barely stand up he was so excited!! Terran and Silvana ran around the grass and chased each other in their excitement.
Tashan put her arm around Garriil's neck and chuckled “What do you think, boy? Should we team up too?” Garriil was so happy he did the only thing his body was capable of at that time! He ran away from his mum and started to change again!!!
Tashan looked at him, sighed then grinned. “I guess I take that as a yes, then?”
Lili looked at her friend and pointed her finger at her. “You did that on purpose!”
Tashan shrugged and looked guilty. “Maybe I was hoping this would happen! I didn't want him to change when we aren't there to protect him, he's just too vulnerable.”
Lili crawled over to Tashan, pushed the woman onto her back and lay down beside her, with her head resting on Tashan's arm. Lili happily kissed Tash on the cheek. “That was bloody brilliant!”
Chandral crawled over and mirrored Lili's position. “How'd you know we'd back you up?”
Tashan snorted and said. “Oh please!! Neither of you could help yourselves! And Tarra's probably sitting over there now planning what she can do to the poor man!!”
Lili and Chandral looked each other in the eye, shrugged and agreed with Tashan. “Is Tarra drooling yet?” Lili asked Chandral.
Chandral was keeping a close watch on her sister and reported “No, but I think she's close! She has that glazed look in her eyes!”
“I can hear you, ya know?” Tarra sighed.
“So what's your plan? Tashan asked. “Can we all play?”
“Oh yeah! This'll be a real party!” Tarra laughed.
Ash shivered with excitement and suspense. He looked at his mum and then his brother, torn between hearing the plan and providing a meal for his brother. Tarranna saw his dilemma and scratched his head. “I'll wait to tell everyone at once. You go do what you have to and we'll watch over Garriil.”
Ash rubbed himself against Tarranna, his ecstasy oozed out of every pore. He rubbed his nose on her cheek before he ran to his sisters and softly growled at them. The women watched as the girls looked around at them then back at Ash. They listened some more then ran around in circles before they grew to full size and flew off over the horizon.
“I think they'd all be evolving if they weren't already full grown.” Tashan sighed as she grimaced. Even after the last time, it hurt watching Garriil wriggling like he was in pain. Chandral and Lili let Tashan sit up properly and all watched the baby dragon.
The women looked up as Tarranna began laughing softly. They chuckled as she continued to stare off into space, unaware of what she'd done. “We probably won't get any sleep tonight! She'll be plotting ‘till all hours.” Chandral groused.
“Uh ah!! We'll be up till all hours making sure Melanger's sorry he started this little war!!” Tarranna laughed maniacally as she imagined the look on his face in the morning. “We hit him tonight while he's still on leave in Gardenya.”
Lili and Chandral groaned and lay back on the grass. Tashan grinned widely and smiled in anticipation.
The three hunters started to appear on the horizon, the carcasses they were carrying looked almost the same size as they were! Soon they landed in the stand of trees where Garriil had eaten before and deposited three full grown bull buffalos on the ground. They stretched before shrinking to cuddle size and flying to check on Garriil.
Garriil started to wake as his siblings came closer and he stood and shook his adult body which was six and a half feet from the bottom of the belly to the top of the spine high. His wings were each over thirty feet long and his muscles rippled under the skin, visible even with scales covering them. His legs were short but totally proportionate to his body. His tail was as long as his wings were wide and his neck only a little shorter than his tail. His colour was white but swirls of yellow and blue covered a lot of his body surface. Garriil, like his siblings was a truly majestic creature. He moved away from the women and stretched his magnificent wings to full spread. He hovered off the ground for a few minutes before shrinking to cuddle size and flying to Tashan.
Tashan cuddled, kissed and roughed him up before asking him to sit and listen to her. “Tarranna has a plan and we're going after Melanger tonight.” She laughed at the eagerness in his eyes and the way he was shaking in anticipation. “Tarra, do we need to be ultra-quiet and sneaky?”
Tarranna grinned and cackled “Oh yeah. One sound and it's over!! That's the best kind!!”
“Did you hear that Garriil? We need you to go practice with your sisters. Get them to show you how to be silent and stealthy. Listen to Ash too, but your sisters are better at this than he is, Ok?” Garriil licked her face and rubbed himself all over her chest before raced off to where his food waited for him. He ate before moving close to his siblings, sat on his haunches and unintentionally formed a little dragon circle.
“Garriil, the Guardians set you up for your final change because they were worried about you being vulnerable! Now nothing can harm you. We are so loved!!” Ashburn purred.
“They think we are still babies and protect us too much. But I like being protected! At least they let us into the dungeons so we're there to keep them safe, which is good because I do tend to worry about them.”
“They're taking us with them on a practice hunt! With Melanger!! I love playing with him, he's so growlie!! He pretends to hate us but I know he would die trying to protect us!” Silvana licked her front paws.
“Mother says I'm to practice for tonight. We need to be silent and stealthy!! I can't wait!!” Garriil purred excitedly.
Terran stood straighter and said “Garriil, we'll take you for a long flight because you need to have total control of your wings. But first we'll go for a run across country so your legs will be strong.”
“Catch me if you can, brother!!” Silvana yelled over her shoulder as she ran off into the bush.
The dragons charged after Silvana.
“Chandral?” said Tarranna. “Do we need to put a gag order on you?”
Tashan and Lili clicked on what Tarranna was referring to and immediately agreed Chandral may be the weak link in their plan. The two blondes moved to either side of the woman who lay on her back in the sun. As they did that, Tarranna crawled across the lawn to hover near her sister's head. “Huh?” Chandral looked up as her arms were held to the ground. Lili and Tashan held the woman still as Tarranna pulled the travel ring from her sister's finger.
“Are you planning on dobbing on us to Melanger?” Tarranna growled “Because if you are, we will mercilessly tickle, gag, bind and lock you in the dungeon. Then we'll tell Mahoneus you want to hear about every minute detail of his job. He will talk incessantly for days, without even stopping for a breath, on the treasury, how much everything is costing and what a nightmare public relations is with me as Queen.” Tarranna wiggled her fingers, warming them up for her attack. “I ask again and for the last time, are you planning on dobbing on us to Melanger?”
“NO!! I wouldn't!”
Tashan moved closer to Chandral's body and held the woman's leg to the ground with her own. She looked down into the eyes of her partner and moved in for a seductive kiss. By the time Tashan pulled her lips from Chandral's the dark haired woman was breathing roughly and her eyes were glazed. “Answer the question again!” Tashan whispered. “I'll know if you're fibbing!”
Chandral mumbled. “It did cross my mind, but only for a tiny split second. I wouldn't have done it!”
Tashan leaned in for another bone melting caress of Chandral's lips. By the time she pulled back, Chandral's eyes were closed and her lips were pulled into a befuddled grin. “She's telling the truth.” Tashan rolled of Chandral and stood up.
Chandral's eyes opened in time for Lili's face to pop into her line of vision. Lili stared into her eyes then gently kissed the dark haired Queen. “I believe you.” She let go of Chandral's arm and stood up. The Gardenyan Queens walked inside, arm in arm.
Tarranna looked down at her sister and grinned feraly. “I never really doubted you! I just wanted to see the interrogation technique Tashan said she uses on you.” Tarranna chuckled and kissed her sister on the forehead. “Boy that looked really effective! I wonder if Lili'll use it on me?” Tarranna jumped to her feet and ran into the house.
Chandral shook her head and tried to catch her breath. “Cow!” She tried to move her legs, unsuccessfully. “She took my ring and now I can't move.” Chandral stopped wriggling and relaxed. “But it was SO worth it!” She replayed the kisses and sighed contentedly. Chandral opened her eyes and looked up at the body casting a shadow over her head. “You're terrible, Tarra!”
Tarranna laughed as she squatted and picked up her boneless sister. “Yeah, but you won't say that when I tell you we're going inside for some serious Q&As!”
“Really? I do so love Question and Answer time!” Chandral chuckled. “I even fib on the stupid questions so I have to be convinced to tell the truth – over and over and over again!”
Tarranna laughed wholeheartedly as she said “I'll have to remember to do that.”
Hours later, the twin Queens were unconscious and the blonde Gardenyan Queens sat in the lounge, looking very smug as they drank their hot tea. They sat with their feet on the small table in front of them. “Tash, do you regret how our lives turned out?” Lili asked softly.
“I regret not remembering my parents. But no. I'm loving my life.” Tashan took Lili's hand and squeezed it. “Why'd you ask? You aren't having doubts are you?”
“No!” Lili assured her. “I love my life as well. I wouldn't change a thing. Well except for all the people dying and that. But you know what I mean!” Lili looked into space for a while. “I'm really am glad you wandered into my life.” Lili turned to her friend. “I remember finding you that day. You were so bruised, swollen and still bleeding from so many injuries. You were filthy dirty and so skinny. I looked into your eyes and knew I couldn't let you die…”
Lili chuckled as she remembered her parent's reaction to her storming into the castle half carrying and dragging Tashan. “Mum and Dad were great. They didn't hesitate to have the physicians treat you but they were surprised at the temper tantrum their quiet five year old threw. They tried to tell me I couldn't have my new friend share my bedroom. They gave in pretty quickly though.”
Tashan chuckled “I don't remember that. I just remember falling over and looking up into your eyes. I knew then you'd look out for me and you did.” She smiled at Lili. “I just didn't realise your decision to do that would saddle you with me for the rest of my life.”
Lili laughed softly and gently smacked Tashan's shoulder. “Best thing I ever did then, eh?” She leaned back further into the cushions. “I've always wanted to know why you didn't want to be adopted by a family who wanted you so badly. I've never had the guts, but I'm asking you now.”
Tashan grinned and kissed Lili's hand. “I was honoured your parents thought so highly of me, but even as a child I knew I could never think of you as my sister. When I said no, I was surprised they didn't ask me to leave the palace.”
Lili wiped tears from her eyes. “They were upset, but they didn't even consider asking you to go. I told them I thought you needed to be loyal to your family, even if you couldn't remember your own name or who they were.”
Tashan leaned against Lili, still holding her hand. “Thank you.”
“They were really proud of you, you know?” Lili smiled as she continued. “When you showed so much skill with weapons they bragged to everyone who'd listen. When you joined the Guards they were so happy.”
“I remember them cheering us on when we were practicing with the crossbow. They'd sit for hours just giving advice and egging us on… I loved them as if they were my parents... I'm so sorry I couldn't stop them being killed.”
“Tash, you were protecting me! Just like they ordered you to!” Lili blew her nose as the memories resurfaced. “I saw what they did to mum and I wouldn't have survived in that cage without you being there holding me. I wouldn't have been able to live long enough for Tarra to rescue us.”
“You would have. You're a very strong woman, Lili. You took over the Kingdom and made it flourish. You united clans that had been fighting for generations and led them into a new way of life. I was and still am so very proud of you.”
“I did all that with you beside me. You helped me learn what I needed to, listened to my ideas. Told me the ones that totally sucked and protected my back unconditionally! You supported me, even when you knew I was doing the wrong thing and it blew up in my face. You were my co-Queen years ago, you just never wanted to admit it.” Lili choked back a sob and Tashan took the blonde woman in her arms and hugged her close.
“It's time to let it all out now Lili. You've held it in for way too long! It's ok to cry. You need to cry for them now.” Lili quietly started to sob into Tashan's shoulder. Tashan gently rocked Lili, kissed her forehead and ran her fingers through her hair.
“I thought I lost you when I fell in love with Tarra!” Lili hiccupped.
“Nah. I'll always be here for you. I love you Lili. Always have, always will. Nothing will ever change that.”
“I love you too.” Lili cried harder and Tashan pulled her closer. “I miss mum so much!”
“I know, baby. I know.” Tashan gritted her teeth and sighed “I was so pissed I didn't see that bastard get gutted!!” She distractedly kissed Lili's brow. “I went back after getting you safely home and dragged his body out of the hole he'd been dropped into. I imagined we never got rescued. I imagined him carrying out his threat to laugh as he raped you and it ripped my guts out. I kicked the bastard until every bone in his body broke. Then I got my sword and hacked him into tiny pieces.”
Lili looked up and sighed “You did! I wish I'd known. I'd have gone with you.”
“No. You say that now but you couldn't have handled it then… It really felt right when you told me it was Tarra who killed him. It felt like true justice.”
Lili put her face back into Tash's shoulder and continued to cry. Tashan went quiet. She just rocked back and forth comforting Lili as best she could, by being there for her.
Tarranna looked into her sister's eyes and saw the tears welling up. She closed her own eyes and let the tears roll freely down her cheeks and determinedly pushed back the urge to vomit. She took Chandral's hand and they quietly left the blonde Queens to their grief.
Tarranna and Chandral gave the other Queens half an hour then couldn't stand it any longer.
They had to know.
They got up from the chairs they'd been waiting in and went back into where Lili and Tashan sat.
Still holding each other.
Tarranna sat next to Tashan and looked into Lili's eyes. Lili smiled and held out her hand to Tarra, who took it and held on tight. Tarranna looked at Tashan and smiled. “Thank you for looking out for her.”
Tashan hugged Lili closer and smiled back at Tarranna. “As if I really ever had a choice!”
Chandral sat next to Lili, cuddled her from behind and laid her head on top of Tashan's shoulder. She put her arm around Lili and held onto Tashan's arm. Tashan leaned over and gently kissed Chandral's brow.
Chandral whispered “We heard what you were talking about. All of it.”
“Ahh. We thought you were asleep.” Lili said quietly.
“If you two have loved each other for so long, why didn't you ever do something about it? And why did you marry what's his name?”
Lili laughed and let Tashan answer the first part of the question. “I wasn't ready. The whole Royalty thing honestly freaked me way out. I never thought I was good enough for Lili. We finally talked about taking the next step. Lili decided to get away so we both had space to think about what we wanted to do, so she took Patience and left me. After the first hour I realised what a fool I'd been. When she came back, she'd fallen for you.” Tarranna looked at Tashan and saw nothing but love and honesty in her eyes. “I'd finally decided I was ready but I was too late. Then we hurried off to Georstrie and I met a wonderful woman I immediately fell for. It just so happened she was identical to the woman who'd finally hooked Lili.”
Lili took up the story. “I married Cintyle because my parent's advisors were pushing them to have me give them a male heir. I finally gave into the pressure because I wanted a baby. Cintyle had no interest in me or the throne, he was gay and wanted his parents off his back. He agreed to be a figurehead King and let me rule. He really was a lovely, gentle and caring man… He was as adverse as I was about being together so he ‘donated' his part of Patience and I did the rest. It surprised the heck out of me and Tash when it worked and I was pregnant. Tashan was with me when I hid under the sheets and did the deed and when I gave birth. She's been there for both of us ever since.”
“So…” Tarranna looked decidedly pale.
“Yeah Honey, you were the first.” Lili admitted.
Tarranna slid back into the lounge and let everything sink in. Tashan took her hand and held it.
Tarranna looked at Tashan and grinned. “Sorry I beat you to Lili.”
“You are such a horrible liar!” Tashan chuckled. “Besides, it all worked out for the best. Fate was right. We needed to be ready before everything could fall into place.” Tashan looked into Lili's eyes and leaned in for a kiss. Tashan deepened the movement of their lips and drew a sigh out of Lili. “I was totally ready.” She stared into Lili's eyes for a while longer before looking up into Chandral's. “I love you.”
Chandral leaned forward and accepted the exquisite kiss from her partner before whispering “Love you.” Chandral hugged closer into Lili's back and kissed the small blonde on the neck. “Love you.”
Lili twisted slightly and pulled Chandral's head down for a kiss of her own. They each groaned as they moved closer still. Lili finally pulled away, looked into Chandral's eyes and said “I think I fell in for you when you asked Tarra exactly how many women she was in love with.” Lili ran her hand down Chandral's cheek, engrossed in the way the skin reacted to her touch.
“Well, I was mesmerised by the way you walked in the palace and up to the Queen like you belonged there, only to find out you were the woman Tarra'd been pining over. Then I looked up and saw Tashan's eyes and I was hooked. Twice!”
Lili gave Chandral another quick kiss then looked at Tarranna, her eyes glued to the dark haired Queen's lips. “Forget it shorty! You've still got sister spit all over your lips!” Tarra snorted.
Lili reached over and grabbed Tarranna's shirt, pulling her closer. “Get over it Stretch!” Lili ravaged Tarranna's lips and made her love groan with need. “By the Mother I love you.” She breathed onto Tarra's lips.
“Hey, getting squashed here!” Tashan chuckled.
Tarranna used her finger to move some stray strands of hair from Lili's eyes. “Not as much as I love you.” She grinned to her love then looked at the other blonde sitting next to her.
“You are such a whiner! We're doing some serious making out here and all you can say is ‘ gee, I'm getting squished !'.” Tashan took a breath so she could very loudly protest but Tarranna's lips got in her way. Tarranna drew Tashan closer and wrapped her hands around the blonde's waist. She pulled Tashan onto her lap and held her tightly. “I'm going to personally thank you for caring for Lili all these years.” Tarranna stood up, Tashan cradled in her arms and attached her lips to the blonde's. “It could take a while.” She took a breath and dove in for another kiss. Tarranna walked toward the bedroom, haste in her steps.
“I think she likes carrying us around!” Lili chuckled. She stood up and pulled Chandral with her. Chandral leaned in for a searing lip lock, shaking her head to clear it as they finally pulled apart.
“I know I love carrying you around!” Chandral picked up the shorter woman and groaned as Lili wrapped her legs around her hips. Chandral sighed “You just gotta love Fate! I know I do. She gave me two glorious wives.”
Tarranna looked up from where she was kissing Tashan. “US. Fate gave US two glorious wives.”
Chandral grinned at her sister. “Should we be miffed she gave Lili and Tash three wives?”
“Nah uh! Not when we're two of the three!” Tarranna laughed then dived back into thanking Tashan.
“Yeah, good point.” Chandral chuckled as she nibbled her way down Lili's neck. “Very good point indeed.”
The next morning Melanger lay in bed, still asleep as he rubbed his nose. Something smelt bad! He sleepily rolled over and tried to ignore the stench wafting about his nostrils. It got worse, as if someone had just let rip with a silent fart. He ran his hand over his face and tried to think. No, he hadn't just broken wind! He cracked an eyelid for a quick look, quickly closed it and scrubbed his face again.
A goat was lying next to him?
Melanger bounded off the mattress and looked at his bed. The General was in total in shock. There was not only a goat but a pig, several chickens and a cat laying on it. He looked down as he realised he was standing in something soft and squishy. And very odorous!
Melanger delicately lifted his foot and wiped it on the straw.
There's no straw on a castle floor!
The General looked around. His bed was in the middle of a barn. His clothes were still hanging in his wardrobe but his wardrobe just happened to be in the barn.
Every piece of furniture from his room was sitting in the exact position it was when he'd gone to bed last night.
Only it was now in the shed!
Sitting on his trunk at the bottom of his bed were six new pairs of boots. He inspected them closely. They were all in his size and exactly matched the designs of the ones the dragons had destroyed. A note flapped to the floor as he picked up a shoe. He retrieved the note and read it, twice.
These are to replace the boots the babies wrecked. Hope they fit.
It's good to see you're still such a light sleeper!
Enjoy the rest of your leave.
Tarranna, Lili, Chandral and Tashan.
Ashburn, Terran, Silvana and Garriil.
(Four little paw prints were stamped just under the dragon's names).
“Oh you are going to pay for this, Your Majesty!” He looked around the room again - startled to see three glowing Brownies looking back at him.
“Good morning, General. The Queens send their regards.” Willie chuckled.
“They didn't tell us we'd be seeing this much of you!” Robbie winked at him. “We'd have been here earlier.”
Melanger looked down and closed his eyes at what he didn't see. “Shit!” he grabbed his pillow and strategically placed it over his… underpants with little red hearts all over them. “You're not sending this everywhere … are you?”
Chuckie laughed and replied “Only from the chest up!”
“Tarranna, I'll get you for this!!” Melanger roared as he grabbed his trousers, covered his butt with them and walked into the closest stall to get dressed.
Robbie winked as he sing-songed. “Don't hurry on our account, General! We were quite enjoying the view!”
“Please tell me I heard the Queens say we can use the material from last night when they set this up!” Willie stage whispered.
“Oh you heard right! I am so going to enjoy watching it! From what I hear they carried the bed here by hand.” Chuckie added just as loudly.
“All the way here and didn't wake him up!! The soldiers assure me he wakes at the sound of dust settling on the floor. Nobody gets anything past him.” Robbie shook his head.
“They are so good!!” the Brownies yelled in sync.
The goat, pig, chickens and cat jumped up in fright and scrambled outside.
Melanger just groaned in despair as he finally accepted he may have bit off WAY more than he could chew.
The Queens were in the meeting room, planning their day and waiting for the trio of Brownies to finish up their early morning ‘job'. “Do you think Melanger will ever forgive us?” Lili chuckled.
“When he sees exactly what we had to do to ensure he didn't wake up, I think he will.” Tarranna leaned back on her chair, more relaxed than she'd ever been in her life. “I still can't believe how easily Silvana got all those animals to agree to be put on the bed!”
“Maybe that's one of her skills.” Tashan chuckled.
“I'd loved to have seen Melanger's face when he woke up!” Chandral laughed.
“Why'd you pick that to do to him?” Tashan enquired.
Tarranna smirked as she explained. “Melanger's always been so proud of the fact he's such a light sleeper. He used to brag about it incessantly.” She reminisced further before adding “It's actually not a bad skill for a soldier to have.”
Lili stretched and leaned over to Tarranna for a kiss. “The trio'll be here soon. Are we ready to move out?” Everyone smiled at her and nodded. “Cool.” Lili looked over to where the dragons were snoozing on the lounge. She wondered if there was time for her to join them! Chandral looked at her and raised her eyebrows. Lili smirked, Chandral was in!!
“Forget it you two!” Tashan laughed. “As a great Queen once said, ‘ if I can't, you can't' ! You do remember saying that, don't you Lili?”
Lili snarled at her ex-friend and crossed her arms in a huff. “Fine, but I won't be happy about it!” Tashan just laughed and poked out her tongue at Lili who tried to sulk but just couldn't do it. She smiled adoringly back at Tashan.
The trio burst through the doorway, in their usual loudly dramatic entrance. “I did not even imagine that man would look so good without a shirt!!” Robbie was still wiping the drool off his chin.
Willie was just as bad as Robbie. “I know!! He does look fantastic in his armour but most of the soldiers are so flabby under all that metal. He had abs to die for!”
“And no hair!” The trio chorused as they held their chins in their hands. They sighed and went to their Melanger happy-land.
“Oh will you guys stop that!” Tarranna smacked her hand on the table, successfully shattering the fantasy worlds of all three men. “We have work to do… Focus!! But before we start, what did he say?” She leaned forward on her chair, her head resting on her hand. All the other Queens adopted the same positions and the dragons raced to the arm of the lounge and eagerly waited for the Brownie's report.
Chuckie just laughed as Robbie walked to the window and closed the shutter while Willie waved his wand and a white sheet appeared on the back wall of the room. Chuckie watched the Queens reactions as Melanger jumped from his bed and looked at the animals on his bed. He grinned as he saw the caring and respect each of the women had for the man they tormented so well.
The Queens laughed as Melanger screamed out Tarranna's name and walked into the stall to dress.
“Was he at all upset about what we did?” Lili asked the men. “We really didn't want to embarrass or humiliate him.”
The trio were quick to ease the women's concern. “He was laughing so hard we had to put him on the bed to take him back to his room. He was getting stomach cramps when we left. I did hear him arguing with himself as to whether or not he'll retaliate. Something about not being able to top what you did or what if you topped what you just did! He sounded confused about that, actually.”
“We gave him a quick preview of how you did it and Melanger asked for the things you put over his ears, he said he hasn't slept so well for decades.”
The women grinned at each other and said “Done!”
“We should see him when we get back this afternoon. Just to make sure he's right with it.” Chandral looked at the others, who nodded their agreement.
The Queens stood up, put their packs on their backs, settled their armour and attached their weapons. Chuckie, Robbie and Willie did the same.
The women stared at Chuckie as pulled on a helmet with a shorter version of his wand attached to the side. “Chuckie, what the heck are you up to?” Tashan asked.
“It's a training aid!!” Chuckie jumped, almost in shock. His face had a guilty look so the women just crossed their arms and stared at him. “Fine!! We want to run a live feed to our viewers. They're all asking for more on what the dungeons are like!!”
Tashan and Tarranna looked at each other and nodded. “I like the idea of the training aid! We can go over what we did and when. We can see if there's someway we can improve our game plan.” Tarranna said.
Tashan laughed. “Yep and that'll come in handy for the Dragonball games as well!!”
Lili and Chandral had concerns. “What if we see something that's not suitable for people to see! Like victims in the dungeons!” Chandral asked the group.
“That's right. We don't want kids seeing situations like the dead Irasian citizens!” Lili knew she wouldn't like Patience or the tiny twins seeing that.
“How about we stop the broadcast if any one of you signals us to? We swear to do so instantly.” Robbie suggested a compromise.
The Queens though about it and nodded slightly to each other. Tarranna spoke up. “Ok then. This is the signal for cutting the feed.” She ran her pointer finger across her throat. “That's the signal I use with my army for killing something.”
Tashan added another rule. “No images are to be shown of this room or the gadgets we use.”
“And no commentating! If I think you're distracted or you're distracting someone else, I'll break that wand into tiny pieces and have Ash burn it to oblivion. Everyone agree?” Tarranna looked around the room and saw the Brownies give her a nod. “Ok then. You can start sending after we get to where the dungeon is.” She told Chuckie.
The dragons ran to their mummies and were happily carried by the Queens. The entire team reappeared in their designated landing spot.
Chuckie, Robbie and Willie ran off to the side to explain to their viewers why they wouldn't be talking throughout the adventure. They then hurried back to the Guardians, who were shaking their head at the men.
The Queens put the dragons on the ground (after their usual hugs and kisses of course!) and looked down the incline to where a small monument type building was sitting on a rocky outcrop. They all took out their spyglasses and checked the terrain. “I got movement on the north side of the building.” Tashan whispered.
They watched as a huge snake slithered its way around the monument. Its head reared off the ground as orcs appeared and started attacking it. “Take out the orcs!” Everyone aimed their crossbows and let loose bolt after bolt.
The snake grabbed one huge orc, wrapped itself around the beast and crushed it into a large bag of mushed bones and guts. The snake seemed to understand it had to keep out of the way so it curled up and kept low to the ground as orc after orc fell.
The Guardians watched as the last orc died and waited to see if their absence caused any reaction from inside the building. They waited patiently until Tarranna gave the signal to move forward. They trotted carefully down the incline to where the snake waited for them. It watched as the team checked the area for traps and other enemies. The dragons grew and moved the orcs over the hill, out of the way. When they returned they shrunk and waited to see what happened next.
The Guardians kept their weapons out and ready slowly moved closer to the snake. “Can you understand us?” Chandral asked. The large reptile nodded. “Are you able to tell us what's going on?” The snake shook its head negatively.
Robbie jumped up and down “Ooohhh I can help!!” He took out his wand and waved it at the reptile. “Try speaking now.” He told the snake.
“Thank you Brownie. This is much better. I saw orcs stealing my eggs and followed them here. I have been watching for them to exit but nothing has happened for many, many moon cycles. I cannot wait any longer, I want my babies back.”
Lili stepped slightly closer “We're going inside to free whatever is being kept in there. Will you wait here until we make sure it's safe for you to follow?”
The reptile hissed “You are not going to kill my babies?”
Chandral moved beside Lili. “We only harm things the Mother finds unnatural. If your remain as Nature intended, we will do all we can to return them to you unharmed.”
The snake looked at the women and Brownies. She wasn't dumb, she knew her babies may have been hatched and made do evil things but she sensed she could trust the women to honour their word. “Thank you. I will guard the door as best I can.”
The women nodded their thanks then moved to the entrance. The door was covered in pictographs, swirling into a central point in the middle of the slab of rock. “The pictures are actually very detailed. Look at the care they've taken to finish off the work.” Lili was impressed.
“You're right, this was done by craftsmen.” Chandral moved closer and cleaned the dust out of one of the diagrams.
“Can any of you read what the lovely pictures are trying to tell us?” Tarranna sighed and rolled her shoulders. She sensed a very long and detailed discussion of the artwork coming up!
“Well to me it looks like a story about a wolf trying to eat a granny while a kid watches but that doesn't make sense.” Tashan said, a smirk slowly creeping onto her mouth. She loved listening to both women when they talked and loved it when they wandered off into their imaginations. She enjoyed nothing more than feeding them ideas.
Lili looked closer and said “Is the wolf trying to eat the granny or is she trying to kill the wolf?
“You both have it back to front! The kid is helping granny beat up the wolf.” Chandral said with certainty.
Tarranna pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. She could feel a headache creeping up! She looked skyward, as if praying for help and saw a ledge above the door. Something glittered so she pulled out her long handled mirror and used it to check what was there. She reached up and removed a large crystal from the ledge. She half-heartedly listened to the stories the others were making up to fit the pictures. Unfortunately, the Brownies were now helping with their own suggestions. Somehow a wolf performing a show for an ill granny was sounding like a fairy tale to Tarra.
Tarranna moved the crystal around in her fingers and looked at the hole in the middle of the door. She shrugged and thought it was worth a try. “I think I found the key, are you lot ready to go?”
Lili smiled at her partner and said “This may be a guide as to what is in there. It could be a man eating wolf or someone half wolf.”
“I was reading something the other day about a person who changes into a wolf when the moon is full.” Tarranna suggested. The women looked at the pictures again.
Chandral conceded “That could be it too.”
Tarranna advised them. “In that case, don't get bitten. If you do you could turn into one of them.”
“You are joking, right?” Chandral clarified.
“Never more serious.” Tarranna warned her.
“Oh great! Get bitten and get the monthly curse two ways! What a horrible way to have to live.” Lili hated that time of the month (ie monthly period!).
“Can you imagine getting them both at once?” Nobody would come near us, that's for sure.” Chandral chuckled.
“I don't know. It may be better with them both! At least the cramps wouldn't hurt as much.” Tashan added with a cheeky grin.
“Good point! If the change is as painful as it looks then period cramps would be nothing!” Lili mused.
“If we all got bitten, we'd already have a pack.” Tashan sniggered.
“AAArrrroooo” howled Lili, Tashan and Chandral, laughingly.
Tashan opened her mouth to encourage the stories continue for a while longer but changed her mind. “Let's get going so we can go home. I want to hear you two tell us tall stories all night.”
Tarranna looked into Tashan's eyes, grinned, held her hand and gently kissed her lips. “Thank you. We really need to get moving. Robbie ready to check the door please! Everyone else get ready for when it opens.”
The trio were stunned. Tarranna just kissed Tashan! They looked at the other Queens who were still laughing and quietly howling at each other. The trio shared confused shrugs and Robbie ran to stand beside Tarranna.
The Queens were all business and their weapons were primed and ready to fire. Robbie cleared the door and Tarranna placed the crystal in it. The doorway slid open but nothing rushed out.
Chandral used her mini-wand to light the room. It was only small and there was a large chest in the far corner. Chandral motioned she was going to open it and did so.
The explosion was deafening and bits of chest torpedoed everywhere. Smoke and dust billowed out the doorway making everyone cough.
“Well that was a bit overdone!!” Robbie spluttered. Pleased he hadn't just walked in and opened the thing. Again. The trio shuddered as they recalled the last time they'd opened a rigged box.
“They used a lot more powder this time. We'd better stay further back when we find more chests.” Lili said.
The dragons wandered to the door and stuck their heads inside. Garriil sneezed and jumped in shock as he did so. He shook his head and walked backwards.
Tarranna and Robbie waited for most of the smoke to clear then walked toward the next door. The next room was a large one, with a high walled enclosure in the middle. Unfortunately for the Guardians, the large room was being patrolled by skeletons, huge rats, wolves with glowing red eyes and small, very aggressive snakes. All of which ran toward the doorway as it opened.
Robbie slammed the door and locked it. “I'm all for looking for a back door!”
The team fully agreed with him. “We need gloves in case the snakes get close enough to bite us.” The women provided the trio with a set each and they all put the protection on.
Tarranna opened her mouth to speak but before she could Chandral, Lili and Tashan all said “No, you are not popping in for a quick look!!”
Tarranna stared at them as she crossed her arms and raised her eyebrows “Really?” She stood up straighter. “And just how are you going to stop me?”
Chandral chuckled and said “I know I can't I'm just your sister. They on the other hand are your wives. Do you really want them offside so soon?” the three women stood next to each other, their arms crossed as they stared at her.
Lili and Tashan looked at Tarranna and said “Please. It's too dangerous.”
“Only a day and a half and I'm already whipped!” Tarranna whispered.
“Darlin' you were way before then, you just didn't want to admit it!” Lili quipped.
Tashan chuckled as she said “We can find another way. One that's safer for you.”
Tarranna knew she was beaten so she just accepted the fact and went with it. “Ok. Alternate ideas would be good then.”
Tashan and Lili sauntered over to Tarranna and hugged her. “Thank you.” They each kissed a cheek.
“We can always send in the Brownies who are signing behind our backs.” Chandral said loudly.
The Brownies were in the middle of madly signing “Two wives?” when Chandral's comment finally sank in. “Oi! What's with sacrificing the Brownies?” Chuckie yelled.
To read the rest of
Guardians of the Mother and
For the next installment of the story (book 4)
please visit deniseann1963.blogspot.com
Or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to the Academy