If you like what you read, consider donating to help me support my family.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Diamond Elf - Chapter 33

Chapter 33

     In private, the Emperor asked Arden to take Gabriel back to his room.
     “Not without Chelindra!” Gabriel protested.
     “It’s fine, I’m a prisoner now. Remember?” Chelindra gave him a little push towards the waiting bodyguard.
     Very reluctantly, Gabriel stepped towards Arden. He cast his father a look that left no doubt that he would find a way to kill the Emperor if they actually managed to hurt Chelindra.
     Once the door shut behind Gabriel, the Emperor, his bodyguard Jacen, and Chelindra were the only ones left in the Emperor’s private sitting room. They regarded each other in silence for a few moments to allow Arden time to lead Gabriel far enough away that he couldn’t possibly hear them.
     “If, as you say, my dear, I only get to keep you prisoner for a short time, then I had better use that time efficiently, hadn’t I?”
     Chelindra glared at him. “I am here of my own accord because I feel like I should atone for my sins. I will cooperate with whatever punishment you see fit, however… I would like to once again point out that the blood on my hands pales in comparison to the blood on your ancestors’ and your hands. Realize that whatever punishment you see as fit for me the Gods will certainly see fit for you when your time comes.”
     “I do not believe in the Gods,” the Emperor informed her. “I believe in the might of the Empire, and my ancestors who built it!”
     Chelindra merely nodded. I warned him.
     Her nonchalance infuriated him. “Jacen… have her beaten, and then toss her in the oubliette for… 24… no… 48 hours.”
     “Beaten Sire? Or…” Jacen asked suggestively.
     Chelindra laughed. “Anyone who tries to rape me will die… just so you know.”
     “I was going to say tortured, just so you know,” Jacen sneered at her.
     “I think I will leave that up to you… Just don’t dismember her; I do not want my son hating me when this is done.”
     “Yes, my Liege.” Jacen bowed, and approached Chelindra. He gripped her arm; confident that once he had her in his strong grasp, there was nothing she could do to escape.
     Chelindra wanted to make a point; she was doing this of her own free will to atone. As much as he wanted to think he was in control of the situation, he wasn’t. With her free hand, she gripped his hand where it gripped her arm, and she gently exerted pressure until his thumb was about to dislocate.
She didn’t want to actually hurt him, but it was hard for her to gauge how strong she actually was. In battle, it didn’t matter, and she rarely allowed anyone to touch her when she wasn’t in battle. Those times that she did allow someone to touch her, she was careful not to use any strength on them at all. She hoped… Gabriel hadn’t complained of any broken ribs…
     Jacen had enough training to withstand this amount of pain, so Chelindra decided to twist his wrist until it simply could not go any farther without breaking, and then looked him in the eyes. She could see the pain there, but he would die before admitting to her. She let go.
     “After you,” she bid cheerfully.
     Jacen glared at her murderously. “We will find a way to break you."
     “Good luck with that,” Chelindra stated.

*******

     Chelindra was actually amused. If they wanted to torture her, they were going to have to do better than this. They had asked her to remove her clothes, because they were all afraid to touch her before they incapacitated her, and then had strung her up.
     The rope was thick, and long enough that it not only dangled from the dungeon’s 10 foot ceiling, but she could be raised completely off the floor if they wanted. Currently, her arms were above her head, but not so much that she had trouble retaining her footing. The man Jacen had left in charge – since he could not leave the Emperor unguarded – lovingly stroked a whip made out of chains. There were nine chains, and each had spikes poking out of it.
     “You like it?” He asked. She supposed it was part of the torture; try to mess with her head.
     “I might like it, it all depends on how delicate your skin is,” Chelindra threatened subtly.
     He laughed. “We’ll see how long you keep that spirit of yours. Personally, I like a challenge.”
     He walked around behind her, and whipped her with all his might. She felt nothing. Of course, she wasn’t purposely making her skin soft at the moment. She knew she said she’d cooperate, and she really did want to atone for her sins, but honestly, she had never tortured anyone, so she didn’t see how this was atonement.
     “Ooo ow…” Chelindra muttered sarcastically.
     The torture master held his whip still in amazement, not only had it not worked, but it had broken! He switched to another weapon; a spiked mace. When that broke, he grabbed a huge sledgehammer.
     Chelindra yawned. “Can you just throw me in the oubliette already?”
     He didn’t say anything, but he was not giving up yet. There had to be something that could hurt her. He gave the order to have her raised just a bit. “And shackle her legs apart. Let’s see if we can find any sensitive spots between them!”
     Chelindra was raised high enough that her pointed toes had about two inches between them and the floor.
     “Sorry, but I warned Jacen that anyone who tried to rape me would die,” she nearly sang this as a man approached her. He hesitated.
     “Just how is she going to kill you while tied up like that?” The torture master asked in a tone that implied his lackey was stupid for being concerned.
     The lackey got closer to her leg, and looked up. “Wow, even her cunt is shiny!”
     Chelindra kicked him across the chin, trying to use only enough force to knock him out. His head now faced his backside, and she felt a bit bad for killing him before he’d actually tried to follow orders.
     The torture master decided that it was time to switch tactics. “Let her down, and for Gods’ sakes! Remove that body!”
     Chelindra was lowered onto her feet again.
     The torture master paced as he thought. Suddenly, he stopped, and crowed in triumph! “Water!”
     Keeping Chelindra’s hands tied, he pushed her towards a large tub filled three quarters full of water. A stone slab in the corner of the chamber was pushed aside. An eerie gray mist rose out of the floor. Chelindra knew they were in the bowels of the palace, and wondered what they could possibly have in the hole in the floor.
     They lifted several buckets of ice out of the hole, and tossed them into the tub.
     “Convenient, no? The Palace is far enough underground here that if kept full, the ice in that cellar does not melt,” the torture master informed her.
     Hmm… cold… Chelindra had never thought to see how an icy cold bath would affect her. She knew she didn’t particularly like the cold, but honestly she’d never been around it much.
     The torturer attempted to lift Chelindra so that he could toss her in the tub, but she weighed so much at the moment he could not move her in the slightest. He looked around, and found a table about the same height as the tub. He gestured for his men to move it where he wanted it.
     “On the table,” he ordered her.
     Chelindra shrugged, and complied.
     He ordered a different lackey to get on the table behind her, and push her in. This lackey was tall and built like a brick house. Everyone was sure he’d accomplish his task, or break the table trying!
     The torture master waited next to the tub, he had a thick rubber shoulder-length glove on so that his arm would be protected from the cold as he held her under the water. He watched his lackey exert far more effort than should have been necessary.
     Chelindra sighed, and shifted her weight so that the poor man struggling to fulfill his order could do his job. She fell into the tub with a splash that sprayed everyone, and emptied nearly a third of the tub. A few chunks of the ice shot out and hit the gathered lackeys, who responded by retreating to a corner to dry off, and rub ointment on their bruises.
     Cold! Coldcoldcoldcold! She struggled to get up, the temperature temporarily making her clumsy. The torture master held her down, and at an angle that made it hard for her to get a good hold on anything.
     “Aha! Got you now!” He exclaimed.
     Chelindra gathered up her panic, and forced it to the back of her mind. Her magic responded by flaring, and suddenly, she felt just a bit warmer… Warmer… and then warmer still.
     The torture master stared at the water in surprise as all the ice melted, and it started to get hot. He knew that he should be pulling her up for a single gasp of air right about now, but he was too astonished to remember.
     Chelindra’s magic, now that it had warmed the bath up significantly, responded to her lack of oxygen by inviting a swirling wind to come join them. The water began to bubble gently, and somehow she could breathe.
Hmm, I might just have to try this on purpose, Chelindra reflected. The warm bubbling water felt so good that she just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. Suddenly, her head was yanked above the water.
     “Fire!” The torture master growled.
     Chelindra laughed. “Yeah, that’ll work!”
     “It will, just you wait!” Unable to lift her, he had no choice but to leave her in the tub, and Chelindra took the opportunity to doze while they prepared for her next “ordeal.”
     A while later, Jacen came to check on their progress, only to find Chelindra tied to a stake in the middle of an enormous pile of firewood. He also noticed that it had already been thoroughly doused with oil, as had she, and was merrily on fire.
     “Are you insane?!” He demanded. “We are supposed to be torturing her, not executing her!”
     The torture master gave him a look of extreme how stupid are you? “Immortal!” He made a sound of disrespect. “Shut up, I know what I am doing!”
     If Jacen didn’t really value this man’s work, he would have murdered him on the spot. He looked around to find something to douse the flames with, when they unexpectedly shot up to the ceiling, and spread out several feet.
     “Got anything else, or are you going to throw me into the oubliette now?” Chelindra asked. “Better yet, toss some dried corn kernels in here, I’m a bit hungry!”
     The torture master roared in frustration, grabbed a chair, and beat his large lackey over the back with it until it broke into pieces. “I am not done with you yet, I can break you; I know it!”
     Jacen left to report this turn of events to the Emperor, and returned about an hour later to find that the torture master had Chelindra on the floor with a large boulder crushing her.
     “This rock weighs at least two tons. It has to be doing something to her,” the torture master reasoned.
     “Sorry, but while it is uncomfortable, it doesn’t hurt or anything,” Chelindra reported.
     “Lift the rock!”
     All the lackeys combined their strength to turn a wheel that was on a complicated pulley that made it possible to lift the boulder a few feet into the air. A moment later, the rope snapped, and Chelindra had just enough time to form a fist to block it. It landed on her fist, split in half, and crashed to either side of her.
     Even Jacen gaped at her for several moments while the torture master gave his dilemma some thought. Chelindra got to her feet and waited for him to finish pacing. She marveled at how large this dungeon was, and wondered where all of the other victims were.
     Deciding, the torture master tied Chelindra to a metal table. Jacen watched quietly in fascination as the torture master carried a few strange objects to his victim.
     “Now don’t kill me, I am not going to rape or violate you,” the torturer told Chelindra firmly. “I just need to put this there for a few moments.” He held a metal rod that had a thin metal rope leading to a device of some sort.
     “What’s this?” Jacen asked, referring to the large device off to the side of the table.
     “I’ve been experimenting with various things to find new ways to give pain, but while this is painful, it’s often kills the victim far too soon. I figure it might be just the thing.” The torture master turned his attention back to Chelindra who watched him closely as he inserted the rod inside her. It wasn’t long or thick, and didn’t give her any discomfort, and since he really didn’t try to violate her with it, she let him live… for now.
     Jacen watched the torture master grab another metal rod attached to a thin metal rope, and wondered what in the world this would accomplish. The master inserted the second rod into her mouth, and signaled his lackeys to begin.
     All of the lackeys straddled wheels, and used their feet to make the wheels spin. The wheels were connected on either side of the device by chains, and when they spun the wheels, something inside made a horrendous grinding racket.
     The torture master grinned at Jacen. “With this device, I can make lightning, and using these rods and wires, I can make the lightning strike where I want it to.”
     Chelindra grunted. This actually hurts! The pain wasn’t too bad, but the thought that the rod inside her might somehow hurt her baby made Chelindra glow a bit red. She looked at the device, and it exploded.
     She flexed her arms, breaking the ropes binding her to the table, and spitting out the rod, she sat up. She grabbed the torture master by the throat. “If you have managed to harm my child, I will personally subject you to everything you have just subjected me to, and if you manage to survive it, I will eat you alive!” Chelindra promised.
     “Th-th-throw her in the oubliette!” The terrified torture master screamed.
     “Child?” Jacen questioned.
     “Yes,” Chelindra cast him a very serious look. “My child, the sole heir to the Elven Throne after me.”
     Jacen paled. He knew the Emperor knew there was a risk the elves might retaliate if they accidentally killed Chelindra, but since she was a war criminal who had voluntarily surrendered, they thought the risk was minimal. The fact that she carried an innocent unborn child changed things.
     Jacen looked at the lackeys, who had all survived the explosion, and were now cowering in a corner. “Feed her, and then put her in the oubliette.”
     He turned to Chelindra. “I will tell the Emperor this news, and then return with his decision.” He hesitated, and looked at her abdomen.
     Chelindra used the hand that was not gripping the torturer’s throat to feel her belly. She felt no pain, or anything to indicate that something was wrong. If the child has died, I would know it, right?
     “I do not think anything is wrong.”
     Jacen nodded, turned, and left.


Go To Chapter 34

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Testing...

I decided to figure out how to add pictures to my blog posts, and guess what it's pretty darn easy, lol! All I have to do is hit a nifty little button that lets me add pics... which makes me feel a bit silly that I haven't noticed it before...

Yeah, so above is my current favorite background. This was posted online a while ago, but since I can't find it anywhere, and since it still retains the proper info to give credit to the original owner, I decided to post it here. I love how it shows an equal amount of girls and boys, and has a good ethnic mix.

My previous favorite computer background is below. In case you don't recognize her, her name is Sakura, and she stars in two completely different series by the same creators. Neither of which depict her as seen here, heh heh.


Cardcaptor Sakura - The Clow (Vol. 1)Cardcaptor Sakura DVD Megaset Collection (Vol. 1-18), Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle: Collected Memories Box Set

Ok, random test post concluded, :-)

Diamond Elf - Chapter 32

Chapter 32

     Chelindra and Gabriel walked into the Imperial Palace without any trouble.
     Their journey had been productive; every night that Gabriel spent nestled in Chelindra’s arms he grew one step closer to recovering from his ordeal. Last night, Gabriel had finally been able to possess her they way they both wanted him to, and he had to admit that the possibility that his father might agree to the marriage had made him realize that he would regret not being with Chelindra at least once more.
     The night had been dark, moonless, and their fire had burned down low before they’d had their fill of kissing. Gabriel untied the laces to Chelindra’s pants, pulling each one slowly. He reached a hand into the opening he’d just created, and wiggled his fingers around until he found what he was looking for.
     Chelindra moaned, and arched into his hand. His finger making her hope that no one happened upon them just then; she couldn’t concentrate, and might not notice an intruder until it was too late. He soon had her gasping and humping his hand.
     He pulled her pants down to her ankles, stepping inside the circle of her legs, unlaced his own pants, freed himself, and entered her.
     “Are you sure?” Chelindra asked. She had been doing her best to comfort him without raping him, because she was getting to the point where she wanted him so badly that she was seriously considering it. Except that would be the worst thing she could do!
     “Yes, I am,” Gabriel emphasized his point by burying himself as deeply as he could. “Just… I need you to talk to me, say my name, something so that if I start to relive… Well, you can call me back.’
     “Of course… Gabriel. I love you… Oh Gabriel…” Chelindra abandoned her concentration on her own pleasure so that she could focus on him. “I love you.”
     With Chelindra banishing his unpleasant memories, Gabriel was able to ride her. He was afraid that this temporary respite from the emotional pain would not last long enough for him to finish, so he went as fast as he could. He wasn’t exhibiting much more sophistication than an animal, but at least he was able to do it. That was enough for now; he could always do better later.
     “Oh Gabriel!” Chelindra encouraged him, sensing he was close now. She didn’t feel cheated out of her own release, because he had spent most of their journey pleasuring her, and now she was returning the favor. “I love you so much! Please…” She blushed and forced herself to say the rest. “Please fill me. I need it.” Had an elf ever been so wanton before?!
     Gabriel grunted and groaned as he granted Chelindra’s request. He felt her abundant magic wrap itself around him, holding him to her more tightly than she could… without hurting him.
     “I love you,” he whispered, nibbling her ear.
     “Given a choice between anything and you, 1000 out of 1000 times I’d choose you!” Chelindra exclaimed.
     Gabriel smiled that she used his statement on him, and carefully rested his weight on her. “Well, we may not have a choice for too much longer, but for now, I choose to hold onto this moment for as long as possible.”
     Chelindra agreed.
     Shaking off the memories of last night, Chelindra smoothed her face into a mask of determination. The Emperor was going to sign the damn peace treaty, or she was going to murder him on the spot! Enough is enough, Gods damn it!
     All of the guards she passed on her way to the throne room looked as if they would dearly like to take a few steps back, or possibly drop to their hands and knees in obeisance. Servants made themselves as scarce as possible, certain that she wouldn’t care if they got caught in the crossfire.
     The residents of the palace seemed to fall into two groups, those that were afraid she’d come after them, and those who were excited to see such a legendary General. One young little girl even had the exuberance to break free from her father, and fling herself into Chelindra’s arms. Chelindra hugged her for a moment, and then handed her back to her astonished father.
     A group of men whispered near the back of the crowd. “If Arminta really has accepted the Emperor’s demands that they surrender, then that monster will be working for him, and no one will be able to defy him ever again!”
     “They say she’s a demon who can kill a man just by looking at them.”
     “I heard she slaughtered 10,000 men in their sleep in just 2 hours!”
     “She’s not as tall as they said she’d be…”
     Just what exactly did the Emperor tell them?! Chelindra wondered.
     There was a group of women much closer to the aisle where they walked, and they had a far different conversation. “Which do you think is true? Is that man Gabriel truly so good in bed that the legendary she-demon would walk through hell to get him back? Or, do you think it’s more likely that he sold his soul to her, and once a soul is hers, she never lets it go?”
     “It has to be the second! There’s no such thing as a man THAT good in bed!
     Chelindra knew Gabriel hadn’t heard them, but she stopped as they passed the women. Slowly, she turned her head to face them, and smiled. They looked at her fearfully, and made signs to ward off evil.
     “Ladies,” Chelindra acknowledged, leaning over to confide in them, “He really is that good in bed.”
     Gabriel’s face turned red all the way to the tip of his ears, and he gaped at his lover. “You didn’t need to tell them that!”
     “It was that or let them think you sold your soul to me,” Chelindra shrugged.
     Gabriel glanced at the now thoroughly scandalized women, and smiled, his face still utterly red. “Don’t let her fool you, I sold my soul.”
     Chelindra laughed, “You’re so modest!”
     They continued their walk, and Chelindra heard the women gasp. “They’re both true!”
     “I was right!”
     “I wonder if he accepts others into his bed?”
     “Shh-shh-shush! She’ll hear you!”
     Chelindra grinned but bit back the wild laugh that threatened to burst forth. If she cackled like that now, she’d likely scare everyone here out of three years of life!
     Once they finally reached the Emperor, Chelindra pulled out the documents King Collin had entrusted her with, and held them out in front of her. “I, Chelindra, General in Command of the Armintan Army, hereby present you with a proposal of peace.”
     The Emperor pushed aside his annoyance at her lack of respect, and mentally smiled. An avid chess player, he had known there were only a few moves King Collin could make. The two most likely responses were, resume the war, or marriage. Either way, he wanted his subjects to hear.
     “Please read your proposal to Us,” the Emperor commanded.
     “I, Collin, King of Arminta, am overjoyed that you have proposed a truce, albeit temporarily. After carefully reviewing your proposition, I have decided to offer my own counter proposal.
     “In exchange for our autonomy, I offer my only daughter as a bride to the son you recently revealed. Their marriage will cement a union between Arminta and the Empire, allowing us to end the war.”
     The Emperor remained quiet for a few moments, and hushed whispers ran wild among the crowd. From what Chelindra could hear, they were equally divided. Those who desperately wished for peace argued with those who insisted upon vengeance.
     The Emperor had been almost certain Collin would offer Chelindra, which would have placed her exactly where he wanted her. Even so, he really couldn’t refuse; this suggested treaty would please the majority of his citizens. An idea occurred to him.
     “I will accept… on one condition…” he let everyone steep in anticipation. “General Chelindra must submit to me as my prisoner in payment for her crimes.”
     Everyone gasped. Those who insisted on vengeance agreed wholeheartedly, and it sounded as if the entire Empire was in agreement for the first time ever. Chelindra squeezed Gabriel’s arm when he opened his mouth to protest.
     “As long as you uphold your end of the bargain, I will be your prisoner. You should know that I cannot remain locked up forever, but I agree that some punishment is in order.” The look on Chelindra face left no doubt that she was serious.
     The Emperor chuckled, “I do believe, my dear, that you will be the first prisoner in history who has a choice in how long they are held captive.”
     Chelindra did not look impressed in the slightest. “It is only fair that I choose the length of my sentence, after all, we are conducting a treaty here, not a surrender. Therefore, either we are both held accountable for our crimes, or neither of us are. Since you have neglected to offer yourself as a prisoner of my King, I will cooperate, but only as long as I can.”
     The Emperor was not amused, but he couldn’t argue with her either. “Very well… I will sign these documents, and-”
     “Wait!” Chelindra ordered, flummoxing the Emperor. “There is one more witness required before you can proceed.”
     The Emperor couldn’t help it, he was curious, and his face plainly showed it. “Who?” Who could possibly be so important that I should wait on them… and isn’t already here?
     Chelindra closed her eyes, and focused. When it felt right, she loudly said, “Now Chehiro.”
     An orb of light appeared, and grew bigger until it was a large shining oval. The crowd released a collective gasp, and then fell completely silent. No one made a sound, not even the few children in attendance.
     Aeryc stepped through, looked around, and gave the all clear. Chehiro and his other bodyguard came through the portal, and it disappeared. Chehiro positioned himself next to Chelindra, and gave the Emperor a regal nod.
     “Over three centuries ago, the First Emperor sent his sister to the Elven realm in an attempt to convince my father, the Elven King, to join him in the war he planned. He wished to conquer all who opposed him until only he ruled the entire continent.
     “We elves abhor war, and refused, closing the border to our Realm. Your ancestor was so ambitious that his greed is still not satisfied to this day. When I inherited the throne from my father, I, Chehiro, King of the Elven Realm, agreed with his decision, and vowed to never reopen the border.
     “My sister was born of your ancestor, and she disagrees with me. She sees something in you humans that I cannot understand. However, I have agreed to witness this important treaty as it truly is the first step to peace.” Chehiro finished his speech, and turned to face his sister. “Greetings Chelindra, you look well.”
     “Greetings brother, I wish I could say the same,” she smiled at him. He had just told everyone in the world her secret, but it no longer mattered, everyone important had already accepted her for who she was.
     Both siblings faced the Emperor, and patiently waited for him to sign the treaty. Chehiro regarded him the same way the Emperor regarded bees; they were necessary but annoying.
     “Well,” Chehiro prompted. “Get on with it.”
     Gabriel allowed a brief smile to show as his father quickly hid his astonishment. Never has anyone dared to speak to me like that! The Emperor signed the documents, and held them out to Chelindra. Then it occurred to him that Chelindra was supposed to be his prisoner, and therefore wouldn’t be able to deliver the treaty to Collin.
     “I would be willing to have those delivered for you,” Chehiro offered as it would give him a relatively polite excuse to leave the Human Realm. Chelindra nodded, and handed the documents over. Chehiro gave them to Aeryc, who would be the actual messenger.
     Chehiro addressed the Emperor once more. “We look forward to seeing real and lasting peace in the Human Realm.” Then, he focused on a clear spot to create a doorway.
     Once it was ready, he stepped through it, followed by one of his bodyguards. The other, Aeryc, took a moment to wave to Chelindra and Gabriel. The pair returned his wave with smiles. After he stepped through the portal, Chehiro released it.
     There was a sudden whispered roar as everyone in the audience argued over whether or not they had really just seen a few mythical elves! A few were convinced they had been nothing more than a magical vision brought on by the demon Chelindra. Others rejoiced, having long believed that the elves were real. Those that truly wished for peace regarded the elves as messengers from the Gods.
     As for Chelindra, she was busy wondering if the Emperor planned to throw her in a dungeon, cell, or a guarded room befitting her rank.


Go To Chapter 33

Monday, April 25, 2011

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Hamburger Gravy.

Warning, this is almost the equivalent of a diabetic coma!

Tonight for dinner, Hubby asked for mashed potatoes and hamburger gravy in the style of his mom. I asked if he minded me making my nearly signature garlic mashed potatoes, and he replied, "mmm, sounds good!" Now, mind you, his mom's recipe for hamburger gravy includes Lipton Onion Soup Mix. As the ingredients for it include a whole slew of nasty stuff (Onions (deyhydrated), salt, cornstarch, onion powder, sugar, corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein, caramel color, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, natural flavors, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate. according to this link ), I needed to improvise.

Dear Grandma, THANK YOU so much for teaching me to make gravy!!!!! Of all of the wonderful things you taught me growing up, this is probably my favorite. It's such a shame I can't eat gravy every day, sigh! Moving on...

I started by taking about 2 lbs of ground beef out of the freezer, and tossing it into a large pan (called a chicken fryer by my mom). I sprinkled it liberally with Redmond's Real Sea Salt, and some Simply Organic All Season Salt. Then, I told hubby to cook it, and add a bit more seasoning as it cooked, since I realized I had absolutely no flour! I needed to make a run to the store.

Just then, Phoenix comes in to report that a neighborhood kid hurt him, and he had a nasty looking cut under his left eye. James took off to deal with that, and I cut up 2 3lb bags of organic potatoes. I planned to make a LOT after all, lol. To the potatoes, I added a very liberal amount of salt, and some water... enough to cover the potatoes, and then some.

Hubby came back, and it turns out that a neighborhood boy had been playing with a nerf gun, scared Phoenix, who then fell off his bike, and hit his cheek on the nasty part of the handlebar, ouch! I told hubby to cut up an onion or two or three, depending on size and how much he wanted. The onion, and the bulb of garlic I had him peel went into the pot with the potatoes. By the way, I prefer my mashed potatoes WITH the skin on, and usually use red russets. Today I used brown russets, and still left the peels on.

I went to the store, bought Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, and some Dried Minced Onion. Coming back, I was happy that the hamburger was done, and the potatoes almost done. Anyone who has never made gravy from scratch, it's easy. All you need is some form of fat/grease with flavoring/seasoning, a little bit of flour, and some sort of starch, plus water.

So, I drained the grease from the hamburger into a bowl, and set the meat aside. The ONLY reason I did this was to make it easier to blend the flour with a minimum of lumps. I sprinkled a good portion of the dried minced onion onto the grease, some onion powder, a touch of garlic powder, a dash or two of powdered ginger, a dash of cumin (what the hell why not, it was in my spice cupboard) and a dash or two of ground black pepper. I let all of this sit for a bit while the potatoes finished cooking, and used the time to mix about 1 cup of flour with about 1 cup of water, and set this aside.

Next, I had hubby CAREFULLY pour water from the potatoes into the pan with the mix. I turned up the heat on the mix+starch water until it started to boil, and then I added the flour/water, and stirred until it had thickened a bit. Once it was gravy, I turned the temperature to warm, and turned my attention to the potatoes. Hubby had strained them for me, so I tossed them into a huge bowl, and added 2 sticks butter. Remember, I had a LOT of potatoes, lol! I had about 1 cup of cream left over that was on the verge of going bad, so I added that, and a bit of milk... maybe a cup. It depends on the desired texture, just add and mix until it's right.

My mixer mashed the potatoes, onions, and garlic together with the butter, cream, and milk in no time, love my mixer! I remembered to add the hamburger meat back to the gravy, stirred, and then dished every one up. This stuff was sooooo gooood that I cackled wildly, bragged about it on my facebook, and then came straight here to blog about it.

If you make this, let me know what you think, and enjoy!

CookingTF Blog Carnival

Diamond Elf - Chapter 31

Chapter 31


     When Chelindra stepped back into the human realm, she saw that Randy and Gabriel had gotten just slightly drunk. They were laughing, and she gathered that Randy had been telling Gabriel about the awkward days of his youth. She appreciated that it was to keep his mind off of the horror.
     “I’m back,” she announced.
     They looked at her, and stopped laughing, but wore matching grins. Randy stood, and got about six inches away from her.
     “I can tell you,” he briefly turned to look at Gabriel, “that if she had been around in my youth, before I was trained in military etiquette, I would not have let her escape visiting my bed at least once.”
     Apparently he’s drunker than I thought! Chelindra mused as he once again grabbed her and planted a kiss on her lips. She held up her hands in a silent message, hey this is all him!
     Gabriel stood when Randy’s fairly innocent and friendly kiss crossed the line into inappropriate as his hands roamed her back and cupped her buttocks.
     “That is my lover you’re groping!”
     Chelindra mentally sighed, and cursed her body for liking it that they fought over her. Wasn’t two loves in her life enough? Did she really need a third man rutting between her legs?
     That thought made her body go hot, and she was infinitely glad when Gabriel pulled Randy off of her. She was simply too strong for her own good, and had she pushed Randy away, he might have gotten seriously hurt.
     “I think it’s time you leave now,” Chelindra emphatically pointed to the door.
     “I agree,” Gabriel concurred as he slung one arm over Randy’s shoulders, and guided him to the door.
     “Yeah, I know,” Randy sighed.
     “Go find a woman to ease your loneliness,” Chelindra suggested.
     “That’s a good idea,” Randy perked up a bit. “I’m Second in Command! There’s bound to be at least one woman interested in warming my bed!” He left.
     Gabriel whispered in Chelindra’s ear, “He’s too drunk to do her any good even if he does find one.”
     Chelindra immediately knew that while Gabriel had consumed alcohol, he hadn’t allowed himself to get more than slightly intoxicated. Just enough to dull the pain?
     She hugged him tightly. “I missed you!”
     Gabriel smiled, and breathed in her scent as he locked his arms around her. “I wouldn’t be alive without you. Thoughts of you, and the things you would do to him when you… well they sustained me, even when I had nothing else to keep me going.
     They joined hands and walked to her bedroom. It was far quicker for each to undress themselves, and Chelindra didn’t even care that Gabriel hadn’t had the chance to clean up. The sweaty smell of him aroused her.
     They climbed in bed, and kissed. Chelindra kissed him as much as possible, hoping that her kisses could soothe his soul. Gabriel wrapped his arms around her once more, and pulled her half on top of him. He liked having her weight on him. She was solid, and as long as he could feel her, he knew he was safe.
     Chelindra felt no urgent need to progress. As far as she was concerned, kissing, cuddling, and reassuring the other that they were still both alive and together was vastly more important than possessing each other. She used her hands to explore his body, and suppressed a shudder when her hands encountered scars… lots of scars, and not the light ones she had given him.
     They kissed and caressed for at least an hour before Chelindra finally grew frustrated. “I want you inside of me,” she whispered.
     Gabriel was only about half erect. He had trouble maintaining an erection because every time he grew fully hard, images flashed through his mind of John putting a ring on him, and forcing him to eventually climax despite his torture. Inevitably, his manhood would shrink, and he was fine with not moving on to the next step.
     “I… don’t think I can,” he admitted.
     Chelindra was disappointed, but she didn’t push him. “I understand.”
     They settled into a comfortable cuddle, and Chelindra stroked his chest. An idea struck her, and she stoked her hand along his body until she had hold of his hand. She tugged his hand, pulling it to where she wanted it.
     Gabriel’s eyes were closed, and he relished her touch. When she guided his hand to her womanhood, and used his finger to pleasure herself, he was surprised but pleased at her actions. He opened his eyes so that he could watch her face while she rubbed his finger over her little pearl.
     Her face was beautiful! If he didn’t know better, he’d swear she was an angel sent to personally love and comfort him until he was fully healed from his trauma. She began to shiver, and he withdrew his hand. She groaned in disappointment, and quickly replaced him with her own hand.
     He slid his finger down and inside her, and then slid another in to join it. He wiggled his fingers, and slid them in and out repeatedly, taking care to give his full attention to the little undulations her muscles made. She squeezed his fingers, and began to gasp, and he tickled her just a little bit longer.
     Finally, she went limp, and breathed slowly on purpose to calm her heartbeat. He slowly pulled his fingers out of her, and went to lick them off.
     “Do not!” She protested quickly.
     “Why not?” He wondered.
     “All of the fluids from my body… Well, see for yourself.” She pointed to his fingers.
     He watched as a thin layer of what looked like ice formed on his fingers. He tried to wiggled them, and they wouldn’t move. She used her magic to free his fingers from the diamond encasing.
     “Why hasn’t this happened in the past?” Gabriel asked.
     “It has, you just haven’t noticed it. We’ve only ever has sex once, well twice, and the first time I used my magic to prevent the fluid from hardening, and the next morning I gave you a cloth I had spelled to absorb the fluid without letting it dry,” she explained.
     “Oh… but I’ve drank from you,” he had no better way to describe the oral pleasure he had given her.
     “I know, and had I been thinking I wouldn’t have let you. All I can do is guess that if the liquid enters your body before it solidifies, then it will remain liquid. I sincerely hope!”
     Gabriel responded by pushing her onto her back, and burying his head between her legs before she realized what he was about to do. He licked some juice from her, and swished it around his mouth long enough that it should have changed, but it didn’t. He stuck his tongue out to show her.
     “Interesting,” Chelindra smiled.
     Gabriel decided that since he was down here, he might as well make use of the opportunity. He plunged his tongue into her, and she gasped. He realized that while he may not be able to have intercourse, that did not mean he could not please her. In fact, pleasing her might go a long way to healing his mind, and making him ready to have sex again.
     Much later, Chelindra begged him to stop. “Enough! I can’t bear any more!”
     Gabriel knew this was because he had done his job well, and he smiled, pleased that he could please her.
     Chelindra drifted off to sleep, and Gabriel wrapped himself around her, pulling one of her legs between his.
     The next morning, Chelindra woke before Gabriel, who was enjoying the best sleep he’d had in a long time. She noticed that he looked at peace. She took this as a good sign that her natural gift to guard sleep had worked wonders on him.
     She gently pulled herself free from his grasp – he clutched her like a child clutches a teddy bear, she grinned – and sat up. She wanted to do something nice for him. Something that repaid him for pleasuring her, but didn’t pressure him into having sex before he was ready.
     She stroked his back until he shifted. With him now lying on his back, she had access to the part of him that she longed to touch. She uncovered it, and stroked it with her hand. It began to rise, and she knew he liked her attention.
     She licked him, and flicked his velvety tip with her tongue. This caused his shaft to jump, and she giggled. She had honestly never done anything like this before, and she felt like a child who had just been given a brand new toy. She licked him some more, and then took his entire length into her mouth.
     Gabriel thought he was simply dreaming. With no nightmares to disturb him, he’d actually had a few erotic dreams, and at first this felt no different. When his shaft was nearly swallowed whole, he knew this was no dream, and his eyes flew open to observe the events occurring in his lap.
     Chelindra was so involved with sucking on him, and doing whatever it took to provoke a reaction from him, that she didn’t realize he was awake yet. She removed him from her mouth, giggled again, and wondered what it would be like to take him all the way into her mouth, and slowly pull back until he was free several times in a row.
     It was heaven! Gabriel thoroughly enjoyed what she was doing to him, and slightly thrust his hips to encourage her. She switched from using her mouth to long strokes from her tongue, and then sucking on his head just enough to make him want to grab the back of her head and push her farther onto his shaft.
     This thought made him wonder what it would be like to be her master. Master… Master… Images of his master sucking on him flooded him.
     Chelindra felt him stiffen slightly, and decided that a more direct assault might be better. She fondled his balls as she accepted his shaft into her mouth as much as possible. She used a hand to stroke the part of his shaft not in her mouth, and could have cried in triumph when he began producing drops of fluid. Her strokes got faster.
     Gabriel fought to get memories of his master and Ando out of his mind. This was too much too soon. “No!”
     Chelindra paused, her mouth fully sucking on him, and her hand still rapidly stroking him. Gabriel moaned, and she took this as a sign that he wanted her to continue, as in No! Don’t stop!
     She twisted her head as she sucked on him, and he moaned again.
     Gabriel was about to fill her mouth, and he knew it. In his mind, it was a different mouth on him, and he could feel the bite of the whip as he moaned and grunted. “No, please no.”
     Chelindra froze, that was definitely not a phrase of encouragement, and she slowly pulled her head back. It was too late, Gabriel spurted and grunted, and she figured it would be an insult to remove her mouth and spit it on him at this exact moment. She swallowed, and waited until he was finished.
     “I’m sorry,” she uttered softly. “I meant to please you.”
     Gabriel turned onto his side. “I know.” He wasn’t angry with her. He really wasn’t… He appreciated her eagerness, but he just wasn’t ready.
     Chelindra had no idea what to do. Should she comfort him? Should she leave him alone?
     She stroked his back, and though he did a good job of not shuddering, she knew that he did not want to be touched at all right now. She bit back a sigh, and was surprised to find herself near tears. She silently inhaled and exhaled a few times.
     When she was certain her voice would not betray her, she said, “I am going to have a servant fetch us some food, and bathwater.”
     She thought she did an excellent job of sounding normal, but her breath caught, and she had to stop breathing altogether for a moment to prevent a small sob from escaping.
     Gabriel had been trained from birth to detect every small nuance. It was his job to know what his master was not saying as much as what he was, and he knew that Chelindra was near tears. The last thing he wanted was to hurt her!
     “Hey,” he whispered soothingly as he sat up and gathered her in his arms. “You did nothing wrong.”
     Chelindra snuggled into him as he stroked her back, and continued to breathe slowly. She couldn’t talk for fear of crying. A saying occurred to her, beware the pregnant elf!
     It was an old saying that had come about because pregnant elves were the ones most likely to feel an emotion they couldn’t explain, and without meditation several times daily, they often took their emotions out on other unsuspecting elves. Chelindra hadn’t meditated once since she’d gotten pregnant. Frankly, she hadn’t believed the saying, but here she was, on the verge of tears for the second time in her life!
     The couple simply held each other. They both realized that what they needed the most right now was just being together. Holding onto this moment for as long as possible.
     Later on, after they had eaten and bathed, they answered a summons from the King, who presented them with his completed armistice documents. He told Chelindra and Gabriel that they could stay as long as they wanted before they left to deliver the documents, but even he sensed that they would not stay long.
     Princess Amara asked to speak to Gabriel alone, and led him far enough away – out into the garden and down a path to a private bower – that Chelindra could not overhear them unless she actively tried. She took a deep breath, and calmed her pounding heart.
     “I know that you are not ready for marriage, and that you have doubts about, um, your capacity to… heal. Please understand that if your father agrees to our marriage, I will not expect you to… to…” She blushed. She was not supposed to say such things aloud. “Visit my bed, until you are ready.”
     Gabriel smiled. She was charming at nearly 18, and he was in his 30’s. He really felt too old for her, but then he thought about the age difference between him and Chelindra, and after that, he didn’t feel so much like he was robbing the cradle.
     “Thank you, I appreciate that… but know this; I will not go through with the marriage unless I am sure that we will be… productive. I would not want to burden you with such a dismal life,” Gabriel responded delicately.
     Amara blushed, rose up onto her tip toes – she was a short little thing – and brushed his lips with hers. She felt a small jolt of electricity run from her lips to her groin, and lowered herself back onto her feet. She saw a responding flash in his eyes, and looked down. Pretending shame at her boldness, she spun around, and smiled. She knew that given time, things would work out between them.
     She rushed away to somewhere private so she could giggle that she had stolen her first kiss.
     Meanwhile, Chelindra had followed them. Not enough that she was spying on them, or even listening to them, just enough to be near him when they were done. She saw Amara rush away, and looked into the bower.
     Gabriel had the middle and pointer finger of his right hand resting on his lips, and a look of amazement on his face, and she knew something momentous had occurred. She knew that he needed time to sort this out for himself, and decided to wait for him on a bench a little farther down the path.
     Gabriel appeared a few minutes later, saw Chelindra, and knew she had a pretty good idea about what had happened.
     “Where did she go?” He inquired.
     Chelindra pointed.
     “Wait here, I need to see something,” Gabriel insisted.
     Chelindra merely nodded.
     Gabriel located Amara a few moments later. She was with the Queen, but he couldn’t let that stop him.
     “You’re highness,” Gabriel asked for her attention. “May I ask a favor?”
     Amara stepped closer to him. “Yes?”
     He pulled her close, and kissed her. Sure enough, he also felt a jolt of electricity travel from his lips to his groin. He pulled his head back to look at her. “I don’t understand.”
     Amara knew that her stepmother would allow this chaperoned kiss, whereas her father wouldn’t, and took advantage of this by snuggling closer to him. “What don’t you understand?”
     “This,” Gabriel replied, and kissed her again. She held him to her tightly, and eagerly accepted it when he parted her lips with his tongue. A moment passed, then two.
     “Ahem!” Queen Haylee cleared her throat loudly. “This is a bit much, especially since it is not certain that the two of you will be engaged.”
     Gabriel and Amara stopped trying to crawl inside each other’s skin, but continued to press their lips together for a moment more. Slowly, they separated their mouths.
     “Wow!” Amara grinned and couldn’t wait to kiss him again.
     “I don’t understand,” Gabriel repeated.
     “Is it possible to love more than one person?” Amara asked. “Is that what you don’t understand?”
     Gabriel nodded.
     “I think it is. For example, my father loved my mother, but then he married the first Queen. He says he loved her too. Now he is married to Haylee, and I know he loves her. I wonder what would have happened if he had all three of them in his life at the same time. I think he still would have loved them all.” Amara liked that Gabriel had not let her go.
     Gabriel nodded slowly, this made sense when he thought of Chelindra, and how she loved him, and then how she had seemed to have feelings for Aeryc.
     “You and I were meant to be together, I have seen it in my visions for years. I had no idea who you actually were, beyond the fact that you were the Emperor’s son, and I had no idea if we would be happy, but I think we will be.” Amara rested her cheek on his chest.
     Gabriel looked to the sky as he thought this information over. He hoped she was right, because a happy future with her meant that he really would recover from his abuse. He looked down when he felt her head lift from his chest. She was looking at him intently.
     Please kiss me again! Amara silently begged, then decided not to wait for him. She plantarflexed her feet, and licked his lips invitingly. He chuckled.
     “Amara!” Queen Haylee gasped, mildly shocked, mildly amused.
     “Please,” Amara begged. “Just one more?”
     Gabriel wasn’t sure if she was asking him, her mother, or both, but he took it upon himself to answer her with a kiss to remember.
     Queen Haylee knew that this was important to both of them, so covered her mouth to keep from protesting, until she saw her husband walking powerfully in their direction.
     “Here comes the King,” she announced.
     Gabriel and Amara separated their lips, but were reluctant to break their hold on each other.
     “What is the meaning of this?” Collin demanded.
     “Oh father!” Amara admonished. “My soon to be fiancĂ© is simply giving me a kiss goodbye before he leaves to complete the treaty.”
     “A simple kiss, eh?” Collin stared pointedly at their continued embrace.
     Amara giggled. “You are going to have to let go of me, I don’t think I can make myself let go of you.”
     “The task is proving strangely difficult for me as well,” Gabriel admitted.
     Collin was more than willing to help them out, and stepped close enough to push them apart. He held onto Amara’s arm as Gabriel walked away, her other arm attempted to leave with him.
     Gabriel was astonished that kissing Amara had been so wonderful. He rejoined Chelindra, and they set off on their journey to the Imperial Palace.




Go To Chapter 32

Charts and Readings

Choose