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Friday, August 23, 2013

Doodles in Crochet

A good 6 months or so ago, I came across this picture of an AWESOME dress:


Using JUST this pic, I was able to pretty much recreate the pattern (which is rare for me since most patterns are no where NEAR this clear and easy to see and recreate). As I have been crocheting this, I've apparently somehow NOT taken out as many stitches as I've added (while creating the chevrons, stitches are added and subtracted so that the base amount of stitches doesn't really change), therefore MY dress has belled out rather than "hug" my body as I wanted it too. However, it still looks pretty good on me.

Here's a progress pic that shows that I am just NOW getting to the point where I will add a few blocks to make the skirt - after many months of working on this on and off, whew! lol.


As you can plainly see, the original dress incorporates shaping to make it hug the curves of a much smaller body, so it didn't need as many pattern row repeats as mine does. Also, I obviously didn't have the original yarn, and because the white/brown/blue is variegated (which means changes color as you use the yarn, usually on a broad spectrum so that it "self stripes"), it's actually somewhat hard to see just how many pattern repeats there are in the original, but I was able to narrow a single pattern repeat down to 8 rows. In my version, you can see that a little better. There's 2 rows of the cream color, 2 rows of the teal color, and 4 rows of the blue.

Here's a slightly different pic that looks a little better IMO :-)


Keep in mind that this flat picture of the top doesn't show how well it accommodates my very 3 dimensional body, lol! Also, when I am finished with it - AKA I run out of yarn and literally CAN'T go any further, lol - I will post a pic of it on my body. It looks weird in these pics, but it really does look good on me in person :-D

One last note, as far as I can tell, the original dress was made in the same size thread as I am using, so the proportions of the dress seem to suggest that it was actually made in miniature to fit a rather tiny mannequin for show purposes. I must admit that making tiny clothes SERIOUSLY appeals to me, lmao!

Okay, moving on! In addition to this project, I have also wanted to practice my beading technique BUT I didn't really have a project to make. SO, I decided to simply doodle, lol! Here's a pic of my doodle, but now that I have "mastered" the bead technique, I am going to pull this apart and remake it into a beaded purse or something that I can carry with me and show off proudly, lol!


I decided to tilt the piece so that a slightly different perspective could be seen :-)
Even though this is just a doodle, part of me thinks that if made right, this could have made a pretty kick ass sleeve cuff on an old-timey, renaissance style dress. Definitely something to keep in mind :-)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Apple Wine

This wine is going to be arguably the easiest wine I have made yet, because I cheated, lol! I bought a gallon of Organic Apple Juice from the grocery store on sale for I think $6. As a fan of Sandor Katz Wild Fermentation, I decided to try his spontaneous apple cider, only I wanted to give it a little boost. SO...

I poured most of that gallon of apple juice into a gallon-sized glass jar, added raisins from a previous batch of Dandelion Wine, and then added a handful or two of fresh organic raisins. The reason I added raisins when the recipe basically calls for me to just set the juice out on the counter and let it sit for a while is because I know I have a bunch of wild mold in my house, and I wanted to give the apple juice a good culture to ensure that it didn't get moldy before it started to ferment.

I started it about a week ago now, and have been tasting and smelling it every day. I've also had to scoop small patches of mold off, but yes, it has started to ferment, and already tastes like it'll be an interesting wine. (Note, I am not posting a picture because it has a layer of Kahm yeast on top which doesn't look pretty, but is harmless and possibly beneficial.)

The benefits of starting with juice is that I don't have to worry about filtering it later on. The down side is that even though it is organic juice, there's still preservatives in it, not to mention that it has been pasteurized and also condensed and reconstituted to a standard sweetness.

Even so, I'm excited to see how this particular wine experiment turns out :-D

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Heracles - Herakles - Hercules - Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Heracles' Childhood

       After such a difficult birth and two attempts to kill me as a baby, one would think that I had a hectic or precarious childhood. That's not true though. I had a fairly normal childhood... for a Prince and son of a God.
       My stepfather taught me how to drive a chariot. Castor – mortal twin brother of Pollux – taught me to fight with a sword. Autolycus – son of Hermes and a notorious thief – taught me how to wrestle.
       A King by the name of Eurytus of Oechalia taught me the fine art of archery... to his regret! But I'll tell you about that later. It's not important at the moment.
       What is important is that I had a teacher named Linus who taught me music. He was the son of Apollo and Calliope. I was just a little bit too young at the time, but Linus made it clear that he was supposed to mentor me in something else too...
       See, ever since Zeus fell in love with the young Prince Ganymede – whose father was the second King of the, then, relatively newly founded Troy – there has been a tradition that men would abduct boys of a certain age – around 15 or so – and initiate them in the ways of pleasure. Knowing that Linus was to have this honor – of being my Erastês; lover – he always treated me like his Erômenos; beloved.
       Those two terms were used frequently, so I feel I should explain them a bit. An Erastês was an older man – often in his early 20's – that mentored a boy of around 15 in so many things, including physical love. The boy – Erômenos, which meant beloved and could actually refer to anyone, male or female – would not make the decision to enter into the relationship, but rather his father made the decision. Once approved as suitable, the Erastês would abduct the boy for a initiation period. He was also required to give the boy several customary gifts.
       I must admit that I did have feelings for my future lover, and often wondered what it would be like – the day that he abducted me. Sadly, one day as I practiced my lyre, he scolded me by hitting me on the back of my head. In frustration, I hit him on the head with my lyre, bashing in his skull and killing him instantly.
       I had no idea that he could be killed! I stared at him in shock and horror! Slowly, what I had done sank in, and I began to throw a loud and crazy tantrum.
       Amphitryon rushed to find out what had happened and found me grieving. The authorities were called in and I was accused of murder, but I explained that it was an accident.  Perhaps because my father was the King of the Gods, or perhaps it was because I was obviously sorry for what I had done; either way, I was declared not guilty of murder.
       Even so, Amphitryon decided to send me away. My punishment was to tend cattle on a lonely mountain near Thespiae. I felt this was a fitting punishment and left without complaint.
       Time passed, and then – one day – I was visited by two Goddesses: Aretê and Kakia. Aretê was tall and a bit plain. She was dressed in all white and carried herself primly. Kakia was shorter and a bit plump. She was dressed in a way that made me blush! Kakia came up to me – I was probably 13 or 14 at the time and afflicted by the awkward passion of youth – and she started stroking my body.
       “My dear boy, choose me and your life shall always be happy and easy. Everywhere you go, people will just give you whatever you desire.” She kissed me. “There shall be treasure.” She kissed me again. “Pleasure,” she promised as she stroked my groin, causing me to squirm in embarrassment. “Women and wine...” She kissed me yet again, stroking my body even more. I had originally been sitting up, but now I reclined, almost completely under her.
       Aretê shook her head. “Don't listen to her! If you choose my path, you will have to work hard and suffer, yes, but...”
       “But what?” I wondered curiously, figuring that she had to have something that could compete against treasure... and a hand sending delicious shocks through my groin into my entire body.
       “There will be glory and honor! The people will praise you, and the Gods will welcome you as one of their own.”
       I sat up abruptly, interrupting another of Kakia's kisses and pushing her away slightly. “Glory?”
       I daresay that I was probably too young still to fully understand each of my choices. Kakia was basically offering me an endless amount of money, wine, and sex; and Aretê was offering me hardship and toil so that I could be a Hero of great honor. If I had known then what I know now, would I have made the same choice?
       I'd like to think so!
       Grinning at Aretê, I made my decision. “I choose honor and glory!”
       Kakia pouted in disappointment before abandoning me in the pursuit of someone more interesting. Aretê returned my grin – seeming a bit relieved – and then gave me a single chaste kiss.
       “Your fate has been decided! Remember, though your life will be a hard one, you'll be the greatest Hero who ever lived!”

*****

       Shortly after I turned 15, I received word that my twin brother Iphicles had been married to a woman named Automedusa – daughter of Alcathous, King of the city of Megara; which had been founded by his father Megarus. It was a highly adventitious match that Alcathous insisted on making official as soon it was mentioned, because he was a very busy man. Thus, I wasn't able to be invited to the wedding before it happened.
       Almost the moment I finished reading the letter – with a wistful sigh as I wondered how long my punishment would last – I learned of a minor tragedy. Thespius – King of Thespiae, where I was staying – had a problem with a fearsome lion killing flocks of sheep at the foot of Mount Cithaeron.
       Perhaps more than a bit overjoyed at having something to do, I set out on the adventure that very moment. Despite being trained to wield all manner of weapons, I had nothing to kill the lion with; so I used my bare hands. Men in the service of King Thespius witnessed my heroism and invited me to visit with Thespius.
       Triumphant, I eagerly agreed. King Thespius honored my bravery with a great feast. As we ate, he went on and on about how impressed he was.
       I blushed a tiny bit, and tried to explain why he needn't fuss. “It's only natural since I'm the son of Zeus. It was no big deal; I'm just glad to be of service!”
       Thespius laughed incredulously. “No big deal! Why, if not for your bravery, we might all have starved this winter! People might have gotten killed!”
       Suddenly, Thespius slapped his knee in enlightenment. “I know! As a reward for helping me, I'll let you spend a night with my daughters!”
       Where once I had shied away from an offer of sex, I now perked up. “A night with your daughters?”
       “Yes. I have 50 daughters, all born – fairly close in age – to...” He roared with laughter. “I forget how many women!”
       He beckoned me to come closer to him, and then put an arm around me when I did. “Are you anything like your father – Almighty Zeus – when it comes to women?”
I shrugged. “I don't yet know.”
       With a mysterious chuckle, he patted me on the back. “Well then, I guess it's about time to find out!”
       Much later on, I heard stories about this. Some say that the King kept me as his guest for up to 50 nights to give me time to stroll through the garden of his daughters. Some say that he had to dupe me by saying that he was repeatedly sending me the same one, relying on the dark of night to cover the fact that it was a different daughter each night. Some say that I made love to them all in one night...
       You want to know the truth? I was the age considered ripe to learn about sex and I had never had any before. When given the opportunity to spend just one night with Thespius' 50 daughters, I took it!
       They were shy at first – it was their first time too, after all. I looked around at all of them, noticing that they were all my age or older. A slow smile spread across my lips as I made some quick calculations.
       I had 12 hours before they would come to take me away. This meant that if there was 48 of them, I could devote exactly 15 minutes to each of them. That seemed like plenty of time to me!
       “Listen to me, girls,” Thespius demanded sternly. “I am rewarding this young man with a night in your arms, so be sure to make it a memorable one!”
       An astonished and somewhat excited whisper rippled through them as their father left and locked the door.
       “Finally!” The oldest one gasped in praise as she threw her arms around me. “I was beginning to think that I would be a virgin forever!”
       The rest all nodded and murmured in agreement. All except for one. She backed herself into a corner and muttered: “I plan to stay a virgin forever!”
       I shrugged. “I can respect that.”
       That was probably my last coherent thought for quite some time. The girl in my arms kissed me, and the part of me that was definitely Zeus' son emerged. I sent up a grateful prayer that I would know what to do, and I did.
       We kissed each other hungrily as we tore the clothes off our bodies. For the first one, all I could think about was burying myself deep inside her. She accepted me with a relieved sigh, and then we both ground our bodies together in a way that felt insanely good!
I don't think I lasted the entire 15 minutes that I planned to devote to her. To me, it felt like less than five minutes passed before I was overcome with the need to fill her up. I groaned with pleasure.
       Don't think for one second that she was left out! I think Aphrodite or maybe even Zeus himself was in the room there with me, because my first lover was shuddering and crying out from her own climax.
       Suddenly, I was surrounded by naked girls! They pulled their eldest sister away from me, and then vied for my attention. I kissed them as they stroked my body and sucked on their nipples whenever I got the chance.
       One pushed me onto my back unexpectedly so that she could mount me like I was a horse. She rode me until she was crying out in ecstasy. My mouth was occupied by her sisters; even so, I gripped her hips as I filled her up. I'm pretty sure that I lasted a good 10 minutes with her, but honestly, I wasn't paying any attention to the clock!
       The third sister straddled me, and by now, I was familiar with the brief sensation of breeching a maidenhead. I rolled her under me so that I could pound into her. She gasped, her eyes wide in surprise at how big I was compared to her tight virginal hole.
       After her, I buried myself inside the next sister. My lips, my hands, my shaft, my entire body was occupied making love to as many of the sisters as I could. They all moaned and sighed in pleasure as one by one, I pumped them full of my seed.
       Well... all except for one. As she said, she did not want any man, and – true to my word – I did not force her to have sex with me. I'm not entirely certain that I could have by that point; I was exhausted!
       A mere 10 hours after I started, I utterly passed out! I think a few of them tried to have fun with me again, and who knows? Maybe the part of me that comes from Zeus complied. I have no idea. I really don't think that even the hounds of Tartarus could have woken me at that point!
       When Thespius came to get me, he had to have two of his men drag my unconscious body to a guest bedroom to rest. His daughters were all semi-unconscious too, except for the one. She explained that I had indeed had sex with the rest of her sisters.
       I'm told that Thespius swore in incredulous awe and sacrificed the body of the lion I had killed to my father in a prayer that all his daughters would bear sons as strong and brave as I am.
       Zeus must have answered his request, because 10 months later, word reached me that I was the father of 51 sons – two of the girls had had twins! I didn't know whether to laugh or faint!
       But before that, I was wandering around all cocky and full of myself. And Aretê said that my life would be full of hardship! If that's her definition of hardship, she can send more my way anytime she wants!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sanguine - Part 12

If you haven't ever read the story or want to reread it from the beginning, go here: Sanguine - Part 1, but if you have read the story and just what to remember what happened last, here's the last chapter: Sanguine - Part 11. This is not the end yet, but hopefully that is coming soon :-D Enjoy!


Part 12


       I should just kill him and be done with it!
       Sanguine stared at Prince Collin dispassionately. If he died, there would be no way for the King and Queen to force her to marry him. She'd had him moved to the same room the the King and Queen had confessed his crimes in. It was small, but they would be guaranteed not to be overheard if the Prince started shouting indignantly.
       It didn't matter if her apprentices figured out who he was, and even the dungeon guards were trusted to be loyal, but if any of the other prisoners found out who he was, rumors could be spread. Sanguine wanted to avoid rumors, both out of consideration to their Majesties and because she was supposed to be his wife someday. If he lived...
       The Prince was currently staring at her in confusion. He didn't know her and he didn't know where he was. All he knew was that he was highly uncomfortable... and naked!
       “My parents will reward you handsomely if you let me go,” he said, trying to bargain with her.
       “I'm sorry, my Prince, but they are the ones who brought you to me. My name is Sanguine and I am the Countess of Clan Blood.”
       Prince Collin paled. As much as his parents tried to keep the horrors of torture hidden from him, he'd heard rumors. In an attempt to confirm the rumors, he'd asked them outright one day, and they had admitted that they did have a few Ladies working for them around the Kingdom. He couldn't remember at the moment exactly how, but the Lady of Clan Blood had been mentioned.
       “What do you plan to do to me?” He asked in apprehension.
       “Do you think you will get special treatment because of who you are?” Sanguine wondered.
       “... Yes...” Collin replied uncertainly.
       “Think again!” Sanguine informed him with a chilling laugh. “Your crime is forcing an unwilling boy to have sex with you. That means –”
       “No!” Collin protested. “I mean it's true we had sex, and it's also true that he was reluctant at first, but he wasn't unwilling. I made sure of that!”
       “His father says otherwise,” Sanguine stated coldly.
       Collin sighed with just a hint of frustration. “Listen, I can understand why everyone automatically assumes that I forced myself on him, but I swear to you by everything holy that he was willing!”
       Sanguine bit her lip and wondered if and how this changed things. She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. “You are not the first to tell me a lie to try to escape torture.”
       “I am a terrible liar. I'll tell you everything, and you'll be able to hear that I'm telling the truth,” Collin promised. “I... It's true. I'm attracted to boys. I like to know that no one has ever touched them before. But I don't want to hurt them!”
       His eyes were intense as he stared at her, clearly willing her to believe him. “I usually offer them money. I make it very clear that they can refuse. I often don't even tell them that I'm the Prince so that they don't think they have to obey me no matter what...
       “With Matthew... He knew who I was, of course. From what I gather, a previous lover of mine had told him about my preferences, and had dared him to insult me. This was not because my ex-lover thought I needed insulting, but because Matthew was so disgusted that he said he wished he could called me a bunch of nasty names that all basically meant that I was a pervert.” Collin paused to sort through his thoughts.
       “He caught me alone in the garden one day and insulted me thoroughly. Rather than be offended, I was intrigued by him. I wanted to get to know him and find out what made him so fascinating. I threatened him with charges of treason for his insults and then had guards take him into custody and bring him to my chambers. From there, I simply talked to him, and had him play chess with me.
       “After he had calmed down a bit – my threat had worked a little too well – and we had gotten to know each other a little, I told him what I wanted to do to him and he refused... at first. He started asking me how it would feel and little things that let me know he was interested despite his protests. I ordered a tasty dinner, and slowly he started to sound more than just curious.
       “He kissed me when I dared him to, and I'll confess that I nearly pounced on him in my eagerness and lust. But I made it absolutely clear that I would stop the moment he didn't like what was happening. He did not stop me! By every indication, he thoroughly enjoyed what happened. It took half the night, and then we slept in each other's arms.”
       Collin sighed in frustration once more and then continued. “From what I gather, his father demanded to know where he was all night, and then went to my parents in outrage. The next thing I knew, I realized someone had drugged my drink, and then I woke up here.”
       Sanguine frowned as she silently admitted to herself that he was probably telling the truth. If he was lying, he'd try to make himself sound innocent, as if his accuser was simply mistaken. It was her turn to sigh.
       “I find myself with a dilemma or two. For the crime of raping a child, you should be castrated. However, your parents have expressed a desire for an heir. So I am to torture you until I can be certain that you will never touch another child again, but if what you say is true, I'm not certain that you need to be punished. You have committed no crime but appalling taste in lovers. The only way I know of to change your preference is to take away your desire and ability to have sex, but as I've said...”
       It was a sticky situation to be sure.
       Coming to a decision, Sanguine nodded. “I'm going to have you shackled to the wall of the dungeon proper for a few hours. So long as you keep quiet about your identity, you'll have nothing to do but watch as others are tortured. It should give you a good idea of what will happen to you if I discover that you are lying. Oh! And by the way, Prince or not, you do exactly as I say at all times! If you hesitate or resist in the slightest, your torture begins in earnest.”
       “I understand,” Collin murmured.
       “Say 'yes Mistress,'” Sanguine commanded.
       “... Yes Mistress.”
       Sanguine smirked as she decided to ignore the slight hesitation. She stroked his cheek with the nail of her pointer finger just enough for a tiny line of blood to appear. “Good boy.”
       Ten minutes later, Collin watched in horror as guards secured him to the wall. He desperately wanted to fight them and protest, but he was far too afraid of what he could see happening to the others happening to him. He watched with tears in his eyes as men were beaten and abused. And then the real horrors began...

⋨ ⋩ ⋨ ⋩ ⋨ ⋩

       “So...” Danny began, clearing his throat. He had agreed to live in the castle with their children since Gavin was required to learn how to govern it one day. “How goes the torture?” He didn't really want to know, but he figured that normal couples usually talked about their day.
       “Oh, the usual,” Sanguine stated dismissively. They were playing chess of all things while Gavin read through some documents and the girls played a card game. They were in Sanguine's private study, seated around the 6 foot long table that she often used as a desk.
       “Why are there so many laws?!” Gavin asked in frustration. He had been studying them for a whole week and it seemed like the laws would never end!
       Sanguine laughed. “You need to know how to treat your people. For example, the law dictating leniency if there's less tribute than expected. Back when Lord Wolf was in charge, he ignored that law, and it cost him everything.”
       “Bah!” Gavin sighed in disgust at the way people needed laws to enforce common sense. He stared at his mother as a thought occurred to him. “What if I am wasting my time learning all of this?”
       “What do you mean?” Sanguine wondered.
       “No one knows that I am your son, and now you are supposed to marry the Crown Prince. What if the King and Queen decide that they would rather give your lands to someone else rather than let you admit that you have a son and Heir,” Gavin pointed out.
       “That's a good question,” Sanguine admitted. “For now, we're all just going to assume that they have no reason to strip me of my lands. Besides, I may not have shouted about it, but it is well known that I've had children. No one will question it when I finally announce who you are.”
       Gavin nodded reluctantly, unwilling to argue the possibilities when he had so much to learn. He focused on his studies and tried not to mentally grumble at how unfair it was that his sisters didn't have to learn all this too. He sent a petulant glance their way, but then admitted to himself that it was actually a dream come true to know that he really was special and different from everyone else.
       The door slammed open and Ardent entered the room. She growled in frustration as she flopped into an empty chair. “My prisoner died!”
       “That's because you haven't quite learned to hold back,” Sanguine informed her.
       “You need to learn to beat them to death without actually beating them to death,” Sang-Soif added as she entered the room. Behind her was a man that was mostly hidden by her dress. This was so the girls wouldn't see his nudity, sheltered as they were. She addressed a maid. “Bring my dog for a walk, give him a little bit to eat, and then chain him to my bedroom wall.”
       “Yes Mistress!” The maid exclaimed as she rushed to obey. She accepted the chain leash from Sang-Soif and led the human dog away.
       Sang-Soif stepped more fully into the room followed by Glacèe. Glacèe also sighed in frustration, and then chose a seat as far away from Ardent as possible. “At least your prisoner did something. Mine is stubbornly refusing to reform!”
       “You seem to like him,” Sang-Soif remarked in observation. “You're holding back and that's why he's not breaking to your will as he should.”
       “How am I holding back?!” Glacèe demanded. “If I leave him on ice any longer, he'll start loosing his limbs!”
       Ardent smirked at her. “So you say, but even I have noticed that you are going easy on him.”
       “Oh shut up,” Glacèe muttered.
       “You're not doing him any favors,” Sanguine reminded her middle adopted daughter. She nodded her head as she decided where to move her chess piece. “If you truly want him to suffer as little as possible, then you will do whatever it takes to break him as quickly as you can. Trying to be nice just makes the whole process take that much longer.”
       Glacèe groaned and rested her head against the table. “I know!”
       Sang-Soif pointed out a move for Danny, which made Sanguine scowl at her. Her expression immediately changed to amusement. She pointed at Sang-Soif's mouth.
You still have blood on your lips and cheek.”
       Sang-Soif flicked her tongue out to lick it up. “Did I get it all?”
       “Not even close!” Sanguine smirked, gesturing for Sang-Soif to come closer. Grabbing her black hair, Sanguine held the woman still so that she could lick the blood off her cheek. “Mmm, fresh...”
       Sang-Soif smiled and chuckled. “Yep! My other prisoner needed a reminder that my teeth are just as sharp as my claws.”
       As much as Gavin, Sandra, and Lily were trying hard not to pay rapt attention to the conversation, which piqued their curiosity as much as it repulsed them, they were the only ones to notice when two new people joined them. The man laughed, startling everyone else.
       “Still as blood thirsty as ever I see!”
       “Frayeur!” Sanguine cried happily, leaping to her feet. She raced to throw her arms around him. “What brings you to my castle?”
       “I'm here too, you know!” Fureur stated grumpily.
       Sanguine laughed and then hugged Fureur. “I'm so glad to see you.”
       Fureur harrumphed but chose to be pacified. She gave Sanguine a kiss on one cheek as her twin kissed Sanguine on the other.
       “We're here because after we received your letter informing us of your retirement, we thought we should come congratulate you,” Frayeur said, answering Sanguine's question.
       “Don't you believe him for a second!” Fureur stated with a laugh. “We've been bored with not much to do lately, and we thought we come help out around your dungeon.”
       Frayeur nodded to confirm her statement. “Besides, I'm sure that both Glacèe and Ardent could use a little more training.”
       Ardent sat up completely straight. She was more than just a little eager at the suggestion. “Does this mean that you'll finally teach me your fire breath?”
       Fureur laughed. “Maybe...”
       “Oh great!” Glacèe muttered sarcastically. “Now we'll have to deal with the smell of burning flesh.”
       Frayeur chuckled. “That's why I think it would be better if I taught Ardent the fine art of patience first.”
       Ardent loudly bemoaned the idea of learning patience, but Glacèe was intrigued. “How?”
       Frayeur cackled softly, menacingly.
       Fureur interrupted before Sanguine could say anything. “Is this your son? Must be... I haven't seen you since you were a baby. Have you learned the fine art of torture yet?”
       Sanguine held out a hand in a gesture for Fureur to stop stroking Gavin's cheek. “No! And he's not going to!” She then turned her attention to Frayeur, who was still trying to make Ardent squirm with his evil laughter.
       “If you're going to do that, go do it in the dungeon!” Sanguine ordered.
       “Sure thing,” Frayeur agreed. “What do you say, Ardent? Want to accompany your uncle to the dungeon for a few lessons?”
       Ardent was torn because while she wanted more training, she didn't want to learn patience. She didn't get a chance to answer before they were all interrupted.
       “That's an excellent idea. Why don't you all accompany us to the dungeon?” A man asked as he entered the room followed by five men holding swords. “We'd like to take custody of one of your prisoners.”
       Sanguine looked to the dagger that the stranger had pointed at her, and then at the small crossbow in his other hand and the blood dripping from the swords of the other men. While people were allowed to enter the castle at any time while the gates were open, there were guards to prevent anyone without permission from going farther than the audience room. The fact that these men had made their way to her study while in search of her dungeon meant that the blood on the swords was probably from her general castle guards.
       Sanguine pushed aside her concern for the guards and smirked. “I'm sorry, but that's never going to happen.”
       Frayeur, Fureur, Sang-Soif, Glacèe, and Ardent all laughed at the absurdity of the suggestion. Ardent blurted out the first thing that crossed her mind.
       “How can you possibly think you'll make it out of here alive?! You're clearly out numbered!”
       The leader glared at Ardent, sneering, “Outnumbered? By two men, four women, and a handful of children? I think not!” He shifted his crossbow so that it was aimed directly at Lily. “Now take us to the dungeon or I shoot the girl!”
       “Glacèe,” Sanguine stated with a tone of command.
       “Right!” Glacèe agreed and threw a bolt of lightning at the leader. Her specialty was using ice, but she'd also learned to use the electrical device that Panique had given her. It worked well with the water created as the ice melted.
       The leader gave a small shout of surprise as the bolt struck the crossbow and made him drop it. He hopped back a step and shook out his hand in an attempt to ease the pain.
       “What do you want with one of my prisoners?” Sanguine demanded.
       “He has crossed my Lord, that's all you need to know,” the leader stated, still shaking his hand but otherwise trying his best to seem in control of the situation. He noticed that Danny had taken the opportunity to gather up his children and somewhat hide them behind him.
       “Don't try to escape! Those children are my hostages and I will hurt them if I have to. However, if everyone cooperates, then I promise that they shall not be harmed.” The leader gestured for his men to take control of the situation.
       Meanwhile, Fureur had subtly pulled a candle out of a pocket and lit it from an ember she kept in a container at her waist. She took a swig from her flask and blew fire at two of the men as they tried to run towards Danny and the children. Frayeur promptly jabbed the leader until he couldn't move, then held him by the throat as Glacèe and Sang-Soif incapacitated the rest of the intruders. Ardent helped by punching the men unconscious.
       Sanguine waved her hand around the room airily before addressing the leader directly. “You see that? I didn't even need to lift a finger. Did you think my castle was weak simply because you managed to get past some guards?”
       She smirked at him as if giving him a chance to reply, knowing full well that he couldn't with Frayeur's hand around his throat. She continued.
       “You're men were simply following your orders, I'm sure, but you threatened the life of my daughter...” Sanguine walked over to him slowly, letting him panic because the sound of her heels clicking ominously naturally made him want to flee, but he still couldn't move.
       Frayeur held him up a bit higher, giving Sanguine the perfect access to his abdomen. Danny held Lily's face to his chest just as Sanguine ripped out the man's heart. Young Sandra squealed from the shock and horror, and Gavin groaned as he felt the contents of his stomach rise. He managed to swallow the bile, but couldn't stop staring at the heart as it dripped blood on the floor.
       Soft inhalations of breath alerted Sanguine to the fact that a couple of the captives were still conscious. “Bring them to the dungeon and let them experience the place they wanted to be so badly.”
       The maid that had left earlier to take the dog for a walk reentered the room just then with a gasp. She stared around the room in horror.
       Sanguine handed her the heart and then absently sucked her nails clean. “Please feed this to the pigs and then send in a couple of footmen to take this body away. This room will need a thorough cleaning...” She paused to think if there was anything else to do.
       The maid was staring in open-mouthed shock at the heart in her hands. She bobbed a curtsey and fled the room before anything else could terrify her. “Yes my Lady!”
       Sanguine examined her arm and realized that it was still covered in blood and lightly dripping on the floor. “Oh! And I'm going to need a bath!”
       “Yes my Lady!” The maid shouted from somewhere as far away as possible.
       Sanguine watched Frayeur lead the others out of the room, each one carried an unconscious body, even Ardent, who was stronger than she looked. Good thing I have the Prince locked up in a separate area of the dungeon. Deciding that she needed to inform the King and Queen of this event in case it was an attack on the Prince, she pulled a sheet of paper from a drawer, completely unconcerned that she left bloody fingerprints all over it. She sat down and started to write.
       “Gavin, please finish up your studies for tonight,” she murmured when she realized that her children were still cowering behind their father.
       He hesitated to comply, especially when a few servants arrived a moment later to deal with the body and clean up the room. Danny pulled him into a tight hug.
       “Can't you be a little more sensitive? He's never seen a dead body before,” Danny stated. He was a little upset that she acted as if this was business as normal.
       Sanguine sighed as she finished writing her quick summary of the situation. “And I pray that he never will again.” She dripped wax onto the folded up letter and then pressed her seal to it. “But unfortunately, as the future Lord of Clan Blood, he probably will. People grow older and die or get sick or have accidents, and the Lord has a responsibility to care for his people as they grieve over the loss.”
       She stood up and carefully gave her son a hug so that he didn't get any blood on him. “I know this can be... hard to see, but please try to think of this as your first real experience as my heir. Maybe now you understand a little better why I didn't want you to grow up around me in the Castle.”
       Gavin nodded slowly, feeling a bit numb now. His sisters both burst out crying. Now that their shock had faded, they couldn't hold back.
       “We were so scared!” Sandra wailed, grabbing part of Sanguine's skirt to bury her face in. Lily threw her arms around her mother's waist and cried all over her dress.
       “Oh, my babies...” Sanguine purred, fighting tears herself now.
       “Please tell me that this doesn't happen often,” Danny begged. He was reconsidering the wisdom of letting his children live in the castle with their mother.
       “Never,” Sanguine answered with a shake of her head. “If it was a frequent occurrence, I'd have better guards.”
       At this point, the head of the general castle guards had recovered from the initial attack. He entered her study to report what had happened. He insisted on standing before her without any help despite a wound in his leg that was slowly oozing through the bandage.
       “They caught us by surprise, my Lady,” he began and then explained how the 6 men had overwhelmed them before they fully understood what was going on. He finished with: “Two of us died, and the rest are injured.”
       Sanguine nodded in understanding. She wasn't angry at them because the Kingdom was peaceful and they had never been trained for combat. Their job was simply to intimidate any of her subjects that tried to wander from the audience room into the rest of the castle, and that had never actually happened before. At least not seriously. Once or twice a distraught person had insisted on seeing her and tried to get past the guards, but they were easily deterred.
       “See to it that the wounded are tended to and that a messenger is sent to inform and compensate the families of those who died,” Sanguine ordered.
       “But my Lady! The intruders!” He protested. He hadn't heard anything except that one of them had died.
       “They've been apprehended and taken to my dungeon,” Sanguine assured him.
       The head guard sighed in relief. “Yes my Lady.”
       Sanguine handed him the letter she'd written. “And see to it that this letter gets delivered to their Majesties.”
       “Yes my Lady,” he replied and then left the room to do as he was told.
Sanguine noticed that her son was still staring absently at the spot where the dead man had lain until he was taken away. Maids were now cleaning the area up, but the blood was still clearly visible as a stain. She sighed in defeat.
       “Gavin, perhaps you should forget about the rest of your studies tonight and try to get some sleep,” she suggested.
       “Sleep...” he murmured. “I may never sleep again.”
       “Me either!” His sisters both exclaimed at the same time.
       Danny sighed. “I think maybe I should take them ho-” he cut himself short and then gave Sanguine an apologetic look. “Home,” he finished despite knowing how it would probably hurt his beloved.
       Sanguine took a deep breath to cover how much his words really had hurt her. She knew that it was utterly her own damn fault for insisting that her children know nothing about her for so many years, so she didn't blame Danny in the slightest. She forced herself to smile and nod.
       “Yes... I think that might be for the best.”
       Danny didn't care if she got blood on him; he pulled her into his arms anyway. “We'll be back. Probably in a couple of days... Once we've all had a chance to calm down.”
       Sanguine didn't need him to say the rest: And you've finished with that prisoner the King and Queen brought. She nodded once more, feeling like she was never going to see any of them again.
       Danny calmed her fears with a kiss that delved into her very soul and reminded her how much she truly loved him. Strangely, seeing their parents acknowledge that something very serious had happen but show their love for each other anyway did more to soothe Gavin, Sandra, and Lily than anything else could have. The girls started smiling happily, clasping their hands together in a prayer that they would each find such a love someday.
       Gavin – on the other hand – had mixed feelings about the sight of his parents kissing. It was reassuring that everything would be alright, but it was also disturbing to see his father kissing a woman. It's a sight that had never been witnessed before! He couldn't suppress a groan of mild disgust.
       Gavin's groan made Danny laugh. He broke off the kiss and turned to face his son. “We'd better get going, huh? Before it grows too dark for the horses to see.”
       Gavin nodded in agreement. He felt better just knowing that he would be spending the night in his own bed listening to his sisters' soft snores across the room. As much as it had been a welcome change to have his very own room here at the castle, it had also been hard to get used to having no one there if he woke up in the middle of the night. Not that he would admit this aloud to anyone, but tonight, he needed someone close by to reassure him that everything was fine.
       Sandra and Lily hugged their mother quickly before following their father and Gavin out of the room.
       “Be safe,” Sanguine whispered as she watched them leave.

Go To Finale 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Science Experiment

My boys love to watch Beakman's World - a show that teaches kids about science. On this particular episode, they were talking about chemistry and acid and bases. They said that even if kids don't have a chemistry set, there are certain things they can do at home.

One of the examples they gave was in the form of a challenge: How do you get a piece of ice off the table when all you can use is a piece of string? And no, tying the cube with the string was not allowed. The answer was:

Get the end of the string wet, set it on the ice cube, sprinkle salt on it, and then wait about 2 minutes.

Here's what happens:


Here's Gryffin proudly showing off his experiment, which - by the way - he disappeared into the kitchen and did all on his own without letting any of us know, lol!


You can even see Beakman in the background on TV. Yes he is blurry, but it's him, lol!

However, when they tried to replicate the experiment for Phoenix, it didn't work, but I think that was because they didn't have the string wet enough :-)

Here's why that works. The salt lowers the boiling/freezing point, so when you add unfrozen water - via the string - onto an ice cube, and then add salt, it starts to freeze the water, thereby sticking the string to the cube.

Pretty cool! :-)

Friday, August 2, 2013

In Brist's Time - Chapter 15

DAMNIT DAMNIT DAMNIT! I updated my writing program and no matter HOW MUCH I try to preserve the formatting when copy and pasting to my blog, it simply refuses to keep any of it, grr... I apologize for the crappy formatting, but for now, this is the best I can do.

Chapter 15



Later that evening, Brist dumped the contents of her bag onto her bed.

Perfect!” She exclaimed as she held up an elegant nightgown. It was a daintily knitted material that slightly resembled lace, only it was very shear, and made to cling to the body. She slipped it on. It fell to her ankles, clinging all the way, and yet flaring slightly at the bottom. She studied her reflection in a mirror. Her matching thong underwear was clearly visible, as if the material were no more concealing than the screen on a window.

She popped her Wilson Phillips CD into the player, singing along with the group as she brushed her hair, and rolled it in large foam steam curlers. She thanked her lucky stars that the special steaming box was battery operated, in fact she was happy to discover that all her electronic devices were battery operated, for they were all designed to be used while on the go. Except for her TV and etc. They were all solar powered products that her father’s company had designed, right down to the solar powered battery charger that fit every size battery imaginable. 
 
She waited patiently for the curls to set, then unwound them, singing “Impulsive” as it played. She lapsed into humming, as she thought about what she was doing. She was playing dress-up for a man that she just barely knew. A man that she had already had sex with, even though she knew she shouldn’t have, and that he was probably just a rebound fling to soothe her ruffled feathers. It helped his ability to have her that he looked exactly like her ex, a guy she had thought she loved. 
 
She was baffled by her reaction to this man. Normally, she would have taken much, much longer to decide whether to have sex with him, but for some reason, all he had to do was look at her, and she was his. He made her feel everything that Jesse had made her feel, only stronger. Plus, he vexed her, and made her want to beat him to death, which she took as a sign that he was under her skin.

And, even though she felt as if she were jumping into this relationship feet first and blindfolded, she couldn’t make herself stay away from him. Hell! She couldn’t even make herself wait for him to come to her, she was going to go running to him. She finally decided that her whole life for the past few days had to be a dream, a pleasant, and very realistic dream, but a dream nonetheless.

She mentally listed the reasons that she was positive indicated she was dreaming. First, she was over 200 years in the past! Second, practically everyone she came across looked like someone she knew in the future. Third, she was able to hypnotically remove Lucas pain, and a bullet from his wound. Fourth, she was able to recover the stolen property from the midst of a thieves’ camp, without any problems, and lastly, her sex life had been far too good to be real.

A particular lyric caught her attention. 
 
I don’t wanna think about it, don’t wanna think clear. Don’t analyze, what I’m doing here.”

That’s certainly true, she thought. She cleared her mind of all thoughts.
I wanna be impulsive, reckless, and lose myself in your kiss. You’re giving me a feeling, it’s a sudden rush, acting on the moment spontaneous…” Brist switched the player off. Those lyrics were true to her life right now too. She rushed to Nicholas’ bedroom, and let herself in without knocking.

He was snoring softly. She began to kiss him passionately. He moaned.
I can’t think of a better way to wake up,” he mused as he kissed her in return. She heard his stomach growl ferociously.

Hungry?” She chuckled.

Only for you,” he answered seductively. He began to kiss her neck and shoulders. His stomach growled again.

On second thought, I haven’t eaten in…” He tried to remember his last meal. “Was it this morning?”

Well,” Brist began. “I’d call down to the kitchen for leftovers, but intercoms haven’t been invented yet.”

What’s an intercom?” He asked as he pulled on a cord next to his bed.

I’ll try to explain, but it will take some imagination on your part,” she said.

I think I have a little imagination left in me,” he informed her with a kiss.

Okay, imagine you could talk to a little box on the wall, and tell it to bring you steak and eggs, and the cook in the kitchen heard you and told you, through the box, that she’d have it up here in a few minutes,” Brist explained the concept to him as one would a child.

This cord has a similar job,” Nicholas responded. “Only it doesn’t carry voices to the kitchen and back.” 
 
Just then there was a knock at the door. He crawled out of bed, donned a robe, lit a candle, and admitted the servant, who placed a tray on his desk. She informed him that she had anticipated his need for dinner, and had had something ready. As soon as the servant left, Nicholas locked the door.
He attacked the food on the plate with a vengeance that would suggest a much longer period of fasting. Brist crawled out of bed, deciding to rub his back while he ate. He nearly choked as his eyes greedily viewed her attire. 
 
Problem?” She asked in concern.

No. I’m just having second thoughts about what to dine upon,” he responded.

Oh no you don’t! I will not have my night ruined by your rumbling stomach,” she stated playfully. 
 
Well, we can’t spoil her majesty’s evening, can we stomach?” Nicholas feigned annoyance.

Ooo!” Brist pretended anger. She retrieved a spoonful of soup, and presented it to him. “Eat,” she commanded.

Nicholas took the spoon from her, and dribbled it down the valley between her breasts.

She shrieked. “That’s a little warm!”

Did I burn you?” He asked in alarm.

No, it wasn’t hot, just warmer than I expected,” she explained. Nicholas smiled in relief, then allowed his tongue to retrieve the misplaced soup. 
 
Mmm, this idea has delicious merit,” he murmured.

Oh no! You are not going to make me all sticky,” she refused, and took up the spoon. She refilled it, determined to feed him in order to deter him from using her as a plate. Nicholas picked the bowl up, and downed its contents in three gulps.

Why waste time?” He rhetorized.
Brist giggled as he pulled her close, and claimed her lips in a kiss. He was naked under his robe, which had fallen open to reveal his male erectness. He decided that her outfit was too erotic to remove, so he pulled her underwear to the side, and guided her atop him. His eyes rolled back as he felt her slide to encase him in her warmth. He had found heaven.
The couple spent the entire night discovering the merits of lovemaking using everything but the bed. Until exhaustion found them both snoring on the comfortably rumpled bed.



*******



Two days had passed, and it was the morning of Lucas’ departure. Brist had set her alarm to ensure that she woke up a few hours before Sarah normally did. She didn’t worry that it would wake the child, for it was in Nicholas’ room with her. She had it set as low as she possibly could and still be roused by it, for she did not want to scare Nicholas, who had regarded her as a if she were insane when she explained that its job was to wake her on time. She had selected her favorite song “Possession” by Sarah Mclachlan to play when the alarm went off, for it was a CD playing alarm clock.

Brist stretched, and allowed herself to enjoy the song as it played. Nicholas awoke with a start, causing her to giggle as he examined the “box,” trying to determine how it played the music. After the song was over, she crawled out of bed, and turned off the alarm.

Tell me again, why did you want to wake up at five in the morning?” He asked.

Because today Sarah turns four, and I am going to make her a birthday cake, and surprise her with it when she awakes,” Brist explained. It had been awhile since she had been able to test the cake decorating skills she had learned in foods class back in tenth grade. She hoped she could at least make it look decent, not that it mattered, for the recipient was blind, but Brist didn’t think that made a difference. After all, why make an effort at all if she wasn’t going to give it her all? 
 
She dressed in a comfortable pair of jeans, and a form-fitting gray and black “Hooters, Mall of America” tee. She rummaged through her bag until she found her grandmother’s – who had been a famous chef – cookbook, and made her way to the kitchen. The cook was already making the day’s breakfast, for the slaves anyway. She wouldn’t begin breakfast for the family until closer to their normal eating time.

Missy Brist? What are you doing in the kitchen?” The cook asked.

I’m going to make a special cake for Sarah’s birthday,” Brist said as she placed the heirloom cookbook on the counter, and opened it to her favorite cake recipe. 
 
Do you mind if I rummage through your cupboards?” She asked the cook.

Missy can do what ever she wants,” the slave shrugged.

Thank you. I promise I won’t make a mess.” Brist proceeded to locate a suitable pan, and all the necessary ingredients. She assembled them next to the cookbook, and examined the pan closely. She loved Angelfood cake, and knew that the standard shape of the cake could not be attained without a special pan, but she also knew that they hadn’t been invented yet, and wondered if the cake would be ruined if made in a different pan. She read and reread the recipe, and finally decided that the wrong pan shouldn’t affect the cake too adversely.

It didn’t take too long to mix the ingredients, even though she had to stir them by hand, and soon the cake was baking in the oven. She flipped to a page describing a whipped cream based frosting. After growing up with grandma’s baking, Brist found that she couldn’t bear anything but butter or cream based frostings. 
 
Do you have any cream?” She asked wondering how she was going to whip it fast enough, and long enough to create the desired consistency. The cook replied that she could skim the cream off of last night’s milk, which should be separated by now. Brist was slightly taken aback. She had forgotten that it wouldn’t be conveniently ready to use. She nodded in acceptance, and rummaged through the kitchen to see if any of the list of stabilizers were available so that the frosting didn’t melt.

Her grandmother had listed some of the “modern” products, and some of the “olden” products for she insisted on all the ingredients to be “natural,” and tried to use ingredients available in the time of her grandmother whenever possible. She found one, and also came across an instrument that appeared to be beaters, only they were cranked by hand, rather than by an electric motor.

Interesting.” At least now she knew how she would be able to whip the cream.

*******



Happy birthday!” Brist greeted the tiny child with a kiss to her forehead. Sarah woke with a smile.

Good morning,” she mumbled sleepily.

I brought you something,” Brist informed her.

Really? What?” She asked eagerly. 
 
Well, I couldn’t really shop for a present, so I baked you a cake. I even decorated it prettily, and took a video clip of it in case you ever get your sight back,” Brist explained, lighting the four small candles she’d had to make quickly when she discovered that they didn’t make candles that small in these days. Luckily, the cook had all the necessary supplies, and the knowledge required to make them, although she did regard Brist in disbelief when it became apparent that the candles were to be about 2 inches long, and less than a quarter inch thick. 
 
Brist loved the fact that they made their own candles, and vowed to make a lot of them if she remained in the past for too much longer. Only she would make them more like the candles from her time, scented, and decorated prettily. The only thing she needed to do was figure out how she was going to do it. She figured that it couldn’t be too hard, all she would have to do is make a few essential oils to add to the wax when she made them. She looked forward to the opportunity to experiment and learn a new skill.
She told Sarah to make a wish and blow out the candles. The child laughed at such a silly idea, but did as she was told.

You did it!” Brist exclaimed as all four candles were extinguished by the girl’s breath. “Now, make sure you don’t tell anyone what you wished for, or it won’t come true.”

Brist sliced the cake, and then handed one slice, on a plate, to the birthday girl. She took a slice for herself, and devoured it with extended savoring bites.

Raven and Regan entered the room; they wished the child a joyous birthday.

You’re just in time to have a slice of cake,” Brist mumbled with a full mouth. 
 
It’s really quite delicious,” Sarah informed them. Each twin nodded, and accepted a slice.

This is fabulous!” One exclaimed, and the other nodded in agreement.

It’s my grandma’s recipe.” Brist smiled.

Later they joined Nicholas and Lucas in the breakfast room. She handed each a piece of the birthday cake, to which they both complimented her profusely, and wished Sarah a happy birthday.

All too soon, Lucas was ready to take the girl and depart. He promised to take good care of the cherub, and indicated a large basket of food he planned to send to the girls parents, but to insure that they didn’t shoot him again, he was planning on riding to the southeast corner of the property, and continue riding until he was well past their camp before he adjusted his course to Atlanta.

Brist moped slightly for most of the day, and soon found that the twins were determined to cheer her up. They insisted that she teach them things from her time, like how to defend themselves, and how to dance to her kind of music. She was grateful for their exuberance, and ended up working up a sweat. After a few hours, she led them to her swimming hole, providing them both with one piece swimming suits. She wore a bikini, which scandalized them, but they had already learned that she wasn’t likely to change to their more modest ways. The day drew to a close, and the trio made their way back to the mansion. 
 
Brist bade them goodnight, and retired to Nicholas’ room, which since the house was his, and his parents weren’t in residence, he had moved into the master suite.

He hadn’t come to bed yet, and so Brist settled into a large and extremely comfortable chair in order to make up a list of things she would need in order to begin making wine while she waited. She prayed that she could find a winemaker from this time who was willing to give her some tips on how to make an exceptional wine, without all the modern equipment she was used to working with. Not to mention, he would probably have a decent culture that she could buy and use as a starter. 
 
Nicholas caught her unawares, for she was absorbed in her work.

What are you doing?” He asked, nibbling on her neck.

Coming up with a list of things I’ll need in order to make wine,” she stated. She set her list aside, and allowed him to carry her to bed. She sighed in pleasure, and blew out the candle.



*******



So, do you plan to go?” Brist asked, referring to the invitation Nicholas had received earlier that day to attend a small soiree hosted by a Miss Amy Johnson.

Perhaps, I’m not entirely sure. What does it matter? It’s not for a few days.” Nicholas traced the curve of her breast with his finger.

I’m curious to meet her.” Brist shrugged. All conversation ceased for a few minutes while the couple caressed each other.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door. “Nicky?”

Nicholas gave a soft disgruntled growl, and then flung open the door. 
“What?”

There’s a distraught slave insisting to see you,” Raven said, and both twins placed their hands over their eyes. Nicholas realized that his pants were pooled around his ankles, and that even though his shirt covered him, it showed an obvious bulge. He cursed and pulled up his pants. It occurred to him that he could hear a few panicked voices coming from the stairs. He went to investigate, followed by a robe-covered Brist.

They found an old slave crawling up the stairs, gasping and wheezing as he went. The heart wrenching noises sounded faintly like “Massa, Massa.” It was obvious that he had something of great import to impart, but, unfortunately, before he could, the slave collapsed in exhaustion.

Move him into that room, and lay him on the bed. It is apparent that we will have to wait until tomorrow to hear what he has to say.” Brist directed a few other slaves to place the first one in the nearest unoccupied bedroom.

Oh no, Missy! We’ll jus’ bring him to res’ on a cot by the fire,” a matronly slave demurred.

No, you will put him where I’ve indicated,” Brist stated gently, but firmly. The slaves were obviously uncomfortable with this command, but they obeyed because the master hadn’t given them a different order, and seemed to agree with Brist’s order. Once the slave was settled into bed, Brist checked his temperature, he appeared to have a fever, and she couldn’t tell if he was sick, or just hot from over-exertion. Doesn’t matter, she decided, she’d watch over him until morning. He shivered violently and moaned.
 
Nightmares.” She sighed.

Soon, she was sitting comfortably in a chair in order to keep an eye on him. Nicholas tried to get her to return to bed with him, but she steadfastly refused, causing him to examine why he felt bereft. In the days since she had started sleeping in his bed, he felt oddly fulfilled, even though he still didn’t trust her, or believe half of what came out of her mouth.

Over the next few hours, Brist comforted the slave during his nightmares, and felt his fever disappear. After a while, she cradled her head with her arms, and fell asleep.

The slave was aghast to find, the next morning, that he had a white lady leaning on the bed he occupied while she slept. To him, it looked as if she had been sitting in the chair to keep an eye on him, rested her head on the bed for a moment, and dozed off.

Missy Brist?” He tentatively tried to wake her.

She moaned sleepily and stretched. “You’re awake.” She smiled.

Why ya actin’ like ya cares about an ol’ slave like me?”

Brist eyed him a moment; she had never seen him before, and wondered how he knew her name, so she asked: “How do you know my name?”

Ya’s the talk o’ the slaves,” he answered plainly.

Oh really?” She asked in fascination, then she remembered that he had something important to tell them. “So, what is so important that you made yourself sick trying to tell Nicholas?”

Can’t tells ya,” he replied, frowning as he recalled his message.
 
Why not?” She asked.

It’s bad,” he groaned, and then shuddered.

Well then, just wait right here, and I’ll go fetch Nicholas.” Brist hurried off. Once inside the master bedroom, which she still thought of as her parents, she climbed atop her lover, and gave him a kiss so passionate, he’d have had to be dead in order to not respond to it.

I like this,” he said dreamily as Morpheus lost his tenacious grip on Nicholas’ mind. His hands immediately began to wander over Brist’s luscious body.

She laughed and held his hands still. “He’s awake.”

Nicholas cocked his head to the side, and regarded her with a look that resembled a dog hearing a noise he can’t quite place. Then, he remembered the reason he had spent last night alone, instead of curled around his red-haired witch. 
 
I see,” he sighed, his plans of a moment ago crushed under a mountain of more urgent matters. He rose from bed, and glared down at his groin. He was harder than the bedpost, and couldn’t see any relief in sight. He tried very hard to concentrate on something else in order to soften his hardness, but the harder he tried, the more his mind refused to work. Suddenly, he felt like a Spanish toro that had spotted a matador’s red cape for his mind seemed to see nothing but Brist.

She bent over to retrieve the pants – breeches she corrected herself – that he had discarded on the floor the previous evening. Her rounded bottom wagged gently in front of him, and before he knew what was happening, he had flipped up her sleek nightgown, pushed her panties aside, and buried himself as deep inside her as he possibly could.

Brist gasped at the unexpected taking of her body. She might have protested, had he not firmly grasped her hips in such a way that allowed him to stimulate her with his pointer finger. She lost all reason, and soon melted into the fire raging across her body. He wanted to hold out, at least longer than two minutes, but he felt her spasms, which had come surprisingly quickly, and spilled his seed so forcefully that he was sure that he was the one being split in two. 
 
They sank to the floor in a jumbled pile of body parts, and it took them at least twice as long to recover than it had to do the deed. Finally, Nicholas was dressed, and ready to face the slave.

As they walked to the bedroom the slave was currently occupying, Nicholas thought about all the paper work he had to finish sometime so that his slaves would be freed. 
 
The slave was waiting in terrified patience for the master to come to him. He had been greatly abused by his previous owners, and even though that was almost a year ago now, he couldn’t help shying away from his new master, who had always treated him kindly. Nicholas walked into the room with Brist a step behind him, and the slave degenerated into abject terror.
Brist rushed to his side and tried to comfort him. She pulled him into an embrace, and cooed to him soothingly for a few moments.

Nicholas you wretched bastard! Have you been beating him? He’s terrified! If I ever catch you allowing abuse-”

Brist! I do not tolerate abuse to my slaves! If he’s terrified, it’s not because of anything that I have done,” Nicholas said firmly. His heart gave a strange pain that she could believe he’d be capable of such atrocities. 
 
It’s true Missy Brist. The Massa never… Massa, last night, as I was finishing up my duties at your warehouse…” The slave obviously didn’t want to continue, and Brist noticed that he was speaking fairly clearly now, as opposed to the forerunner of eubonics he was speaking earlier. “A sailor from a ship came to deliver a message, he said that they had come across the “Regina” a few days back, and it was going down, fast. They tried to retrieve survivors, but they had been attacked by pirates, and just as the ship was dead and sinking, so was everyone aboard.”

So, just so you know, THIS right here is what the whole story has been building up to until this point. This is where it starts getting better IMO :-)

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