Disclaimers: The story is not to be copied or reprinted except for personal use. It may not be reposted on any other website without written permission from myself. All disclaimers, title, and author must remain in the body of the story if copied to your personal computer.
Note: This is a continuation to Now What? It would probably help to read the original story before starting this one. As all my stories, it wanders aimlessly until it ends. I began it per the request of someone emailing me, who wanted to see Daz's return. I love feedback and suggestions. If you'd like to see something included in the story line, feel free to email me at :
The dark eyes watched the public news program with brittle hatred. Images of the Queen and her consort often appeared daily as the Monarch's pregnancy advanced. She was due in less than a month.
The populous fawned over them, delighted and charmed by the alien woman who clearly adored their Queen. News people begged for interviews but the couple rarely granted them. They were content to live as privately as they could.
Bribes didn't even work. The servants within the Residence refused to share the smallest of tidbits with the public. Frustrated, they settled for meager telephoto shots of the powerful couple as they strolled through the landscaped gardens that surrounded their private quarters.
Continuing to watch the broadcast, she popped open another alcoholic drink and offered it to her companion. The drink was taken by the equally disgruntled woman, who before the arrival of the alien, had been the leading contender for becoming the Queen's mate.
Kospa had been approached by several member of the council a few weeks prior to the monarch's 28th birthday, the mark of time where she had a mate chosen for her if she didn't already have one. Then the Queen and all the future political power attached to her were snatched from her grasp.
Another idyllic scene appeared on the screen and the former Advisor violently slung her half empty container at the offending appliance.
"I will see that bitch suffer if it is the last thing I do!" Daz promised.
Lona Peterson teased her mate, dodging her reaching hand that attempted to steal her ice cream cone. Lona had introduced the treat to the palace, showing the cooking staff how it was made. Her mate had lacked enough calcium in her diet and was repulsed by the idea of drinking milk. Introducing the Earth favorite gave Tashalia the nutrients she needed for the growing baby. It had become popular within the city as well, although the ice cream there was more sherbet than anything. The C'helans just didn't eat a lot of protein.
"Gimme that cone you brat!" Tashalia demanded with a laugh. Lona giggled and rubbed the soft cone against the tip of the dark-skinned woman's nose, making her squeal. The human tried to dodge the swatting palm but it was hard to do considering her mate was leaning back against her in the lounge chair.
"Aha!" Tashalia got hold of her wrist and brought the treat to her lips. "Mmmm. krataberry, my favorite!"
Lona chuckled softly as her arms wrapped around her pregnant mate. "Lanth having a nasty craving again?" she teased, using the C'helan version of the name ‘Bruiser'. It drove Tashalia nuts when she referred to the baby that way. The tall woman pinched her thigh.
"Just you wait, I will name our child something that you couldn't possibly pronounce if you call her that again," she threatened.
"Uh, such as?"
"S'hrlanqutinaliiansta," she gave as an example, knowing full well that Lona had trouble rolling R's and performing the double lip smack that occasionally appeared in their language. She calmly finished eating the cone as her spouse sat quietly behind her. Being pregnant was so much fun, she won most of the arguments.
Actually, being the expecting mate of the short alien made it fun. Lona was a playful and caring woman who shamelessly pampered her. The Queen felt wonderful. Never, even in her most fanciful dreams, had she imagined what it would be like to be loved like this.
Tashalia had been ripped away from her parents at an early age to be raised as the future queen. She lived in a symbolic bubble, unapproachable by anyone. She grew up without friends or family. Only a few chosen people were even permitted to touch her, and only as necessary for her well being. Tradition didn't see emotional needs as necessary. Growing up as alone as she did, the concept of love seemed a foreign thing until Lona entered her life.
The alien woman had crash landed last year and slipped into her life without even trying. Now they were mated and expecting their first daughter. Tashalia sighed happily, imagining that her daughter was very lucky indeed. The human would teach her compassion, humor, and above all else, to enjoy life. The Queen had no doubt that her daughter would ever question whether or not she was loved.
In spite of Lona's playful and whimsical nature, her views on child raising were astonishing. They had spoken in the dark as they snuggled, talking for long hours about many things. At first, Tashalia thought her mate was out of her mind. Society on C'hela didn't teach their children with gentleness, they raised their daughters to be strong and aggressive and their sons to be humble. The girls, especially the daughters of Nobles, were expected to claw their way up society's ladder through combat and guile.
But as Lona spoke to her mate, Tashalia realized that their society had much to learn from the human woman. It wasn't the end of the world if a woman showed gentle feelings, or cried, or felt empathy for those less fortunate. Lona said she wouldn't object to her daughter learning self defense and discipline, but she also wanted her to learn how to care about others. The Queen sighed.
She knew Lona hated the idea of slavery but kept her opinions to herself over it. It was something she could do nothing about, so the human followed her own personal code about their treatment.
The slaves of the Residence almost worshipped the petite alien. She never beat a slave, was always courteous, and spoke to the servants as equals. As Queen, she ought to have been appalled, but she had been too astounded by the results. There wasn't a slave that wouldn't give their lives to protect the Queen's consort. The servants were happier, more productive, and the once somber Residence was a much more peaceful place.
Thinking about her mate's viewpoints, Tashalia had begun treating her servants the same way. Some Nobles had grumbled about her behavior with the servants, but some watched closely. Lona may not be able to eliminate slavery, but perhaps by example, she could better their lot.
"Mistress Lona, please, Shamal is at the market and a vehicle has blocked the delivery door. The guards will not move it without the chief steward's permission. Will you help?"
Lona nodded and followed the kitchen servant to the rear entrance. A tiny luxury car blocked it, preventing a waiting truck from parking. The Residence received several huge trucks daily to support the large staff and Nobility. Noticing two guards staring at the offending car, she motioned them over to her.
"Move it please," she commanded. The guards looked uncomfortable. "What?" she asked.
"Neither of us knows how to drive," the red faced guard spoke. Lona sighed. She turned to the kitchen slave. "Dilitha, who among the servants can drive?"
"Um, I believe the cook's daughter can drive."
"Fine, tell her to move it out of the way, she has my permission. If the owner of the car has a problem, bring it to me," she asked.
Going back inside, she breathed a sigh of relief. It was the height of Summer and the outdoor temperatures were wicked. Just the few minutes she had spent outside had left her sweaty. Time for a cool shower, she decided.
The refreshed alien tightened the nayst, the local version of a sarong, about her waist and headed for the great hall. It was nearly time for the bi-weekly court to begin. Most of the proceedings bored Lona, but she felt she needed to support her mate, even if it was by silently sitting at her side.
Tashalia was sitting on a comfortable chair just outside the large court. Lona smiled at her and helped her to her feet. They shared an affectionate kiss and entered the court. The crowd settled down and knelt as they made their way to the raised throne. The human helped her mate to sit comfortably and took her own seat on the lower stool at her feet. She was sure those on her own world would consider it demeaning to take such a position, but Lona didn't. Tashalia loved and respected her. The stool was merely traditional, not how she was regarded. It was much like why she allowed them to pierce her nipples. It was an act of love, not submission, to please her mate.
Dragging her eyes away from her beloved wife, Lona scanned the audience. The Court Director brought forth his list of petitioning citizens, announcing the date, etc, then called forth the first case.
A husband was suing his former mate for his groom's price. Lona thought marriage between the heterosexual couples bizarre. When a woman met an unattached male, she could go to his family and ask what his groom's price was. If it was acceptable, she would arrange for its delivery and take the man from his family. No romance, no courtship, and the man had no say in it. A woman had the right to take six male mates or even share them with other women. There were many multiple families. However, if a woman discards a man without justifiable reason, she must match the groom's price and pay his family for her usage of him.
"She has not paid your family?" Tashalia asked.
"No, my family had consisted of my aging grandmother and she died several years ago. My former mate refuses to pay me the severance amount, claiming it must be paid only to a female member of my family. I need the funds if I am to survive," he said nervously. The Queen turned her gaze to the commoner female who stood several paces from the petitioner.
"Is this true?"
"Yes my Queen, but allow me to explain. Talth refused to give me children, so I was forced to rely on another mate. It was my right to discard him and I believe he forfeited the groom's price."
Tashalia looked back to the man. "Would you care to explain?"
The man looked uncomfortable. "Your Majesty, it is difficult to pour forth my passions on a woman who reeked. She wouldn't come near me unless she was intoxicated. All I wanted to do was vomit," he mumbled. The crowd chuckled softly.
"I see. Mistress, you will pay double his groom's price. No mate should have to tolerate such conditions." She held up her hand to prevent the woman from protesting. "While drinking alcohol is not forbidden by law, drinking to excess is. Your behavior was shameful. In addition to paying him, you will contribute one day each week to the hospital as a volunteer to teach you more compassion for one year. That is my ruling," she said with finality. The petitioners backed away and the next group approached.
The following cases were rather boring and Lona struggled not to yawn and drift off to sleep. It wasn't until one of the palace servants frantically tried to catch her attention that she snapped fully alert. Dala was waving at her, her face showing frantic worry. Lona turned to her mate and subtly got her attention. With her eyes alone, she conveyed that she was leaving. Tashalia nodded slightly. The human gracefully stood and walked from the room.
Dala met her at the doorway. "Mistress Lona, we…the servant assigned to move the car…she is being beaten!" Lona took off running towards the kitchen. Shoving her way through the double swinging doors, she saw the cook's daughter on the floor in a fetal position as an unknown Noble struck her with a lupt. Lona rushed her and snatched the cruel weapon from her hands.
"What do you think you're doing?" she shouted. The Noblewoman looked down at her contemptuously.
"I am beating a slave that dared touch my car. Return my lupt," she demanded.
"I will do no such thing. For your information, I ordered her to move it out of the way. You had no right to touch one of the palace slaves. They are not yours to command. Now, get your sorry ass out of here before I turn the whip against you," the infuriated consort ordered.
"I will take this to the Queen, alien."
"Fine, do so. And another thing—park your car where it belongs. If that hunk of junk is still there in five minutes, I'll toss it onto its side."
The Noblewoman took offense. Lona had pushed the wrong button in the threat. "I doubt you could even wiggle the vehicle much less flip it. It will remain where it is," the tall woman said with a challenging sneer.
Lona hid her smile and walked outdoors. She flexed her fingers, spit on them for traction, then squatted until she could reach the lower edge of the frame. The car was already sitting at an angle at the side of the driveway, making the task easier. She thrust up with her strong thighs and lifted. The two wheels left the pavement. The car was heavy, even for a small sporty model, but she kept at it. Taking a deep breath and bellowing loudly, she gave the final surge of power required to flip it over. She wiped her hands on her nayst and walked back inside, never looking at the shocked car owner, but did speak.
"Never, ever, tell me I can't do something," she rumbled softly as she brushed past her.
Once back inside, she asked for the Residence's doctor to be summoned. The often cranky cook was fussing over her daughter. Lona spoke softly to her, telling her to excuse her child from work for the next few days. The woman thanked her then leaned closer, keeping her voice low.
"Beware of that one Mistress. She has a grudge against you and you didn't make her any happier today." Lona nodded and stood. She glanced through the window but the woman was out of sight. The human shrugged and headed back to palace court. Slipping back to her cushioned seat, she spotted the Noblewoman walking through the front entrance. No doubt to whine to her mate.
Tashalia noticed her watching someone and followed her gaze. Spotting a furious Kospa, she could only imagine what may have happened in the last ten minutes. Since she was between cases, she leaned closer.
"That bitch over there was in the kitchen whipping Lepal because she did what I told her to do." Lona shrugged. "So I flipped her car," she said in a bored tone, but the Queen spotted the naughty gleam in her eyes.
"Lona!" she whispered, more resigned than angry. "What am I to do with you?" she teased.
"I'm sure you'll think of an appropriate punishment later," Lona smiled wickedly.
The Court Director stamped her staff onto the floor and announced that Noblewoman Kospa wished to address the Queen.
"Thar she blows," Lona whispered. The Queen nodded.
The Noblewoman stepped forward and stood with her long legs braced apart. She flipped her tawny hair away from her eyes and glared towards the despised alien.
"My Queen, I appeal to your sense of justice. Just moments ago, I was punishing an insolent slave who dared to touch my property without my permission. Your mate," she said with a disgusted look, "took my lupt from me and had the gall to cause damage to my vehicle. I demand that she and the slave be severely punished for their crimes."
Tashalia swallowed a laugh. "Mistress Kospa, did you ask the slave what she was doing, or did you just begin beating her?"
"Why bother speaking to some low servant? It was enough that she offended me. As to your mate, she should be held responsible for the damages to my car."
"Hmm, Lona, why did you damage her car?" She said loud enough for everyone to hear. Lona answered as equally loud.
"Because her car was blocking the delivery doors and I for one won't tolerate anyone keeping me from my supper," she said wryly. The audience chuckled. Once the crowd quieted, she continued, telling what happened. The crowd already drew their own opinions and they favored the alien.
Tashalia leaned forward. "Mistress Kospa, I have no idea why you'd park in the rear of the Palace in the first place," her tone implied that act would be investigated, "but why you think the government should pay for your lack of respect is beyond me. This is not your home but ours. In essence, you were trespassing and told to leave, yet refused. You were fortunate that Lona chose to inflict damage to the car and not to yourself. You are dismissed Mistress Kospa."
The Noblewoman's bow was curt, and she left the hall in a huff.
To Be Continued