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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sanguine Side story - Short Sequel - Part 13 - The End!

As it turned out, the King decided to go public with his bet. This way, he was able to set up – for the first time ever, so far as anyone was willing to admit – a public orgy, of sorts. The King and one of his best friends slash worst enemies (which was an interesting relationship, to say the least), openly challenged Auric and me to a contest of stamina.
If Auric won, his champion planned to grant him a wish. If I won, the King planned to grant me anything I wanted, so long as he could grant it. Additionally, there was a rather interesting sum of money that would be exchanged between the King and his rival, depending upon which of us won.
I found this supremely interesting considering that my friend Matthew had basically been banished from the Palace for having sex with the wrong woman. Yet, now if said woman wished to participate (and her husband agreed), she would be allowed. Both Auric and I were assured by the King that no matter who chose to participate, we would not be punished if feathers were ruffled.
The contest was more or less open to anyone who wished to participate. Meaning that so long as each participant chose to have sex with one (or both!) of us, they could be part of the planned orgy. There would be plenty of food and drink, so this would also be a party that everyone could attend – even if they didn't wish to participate.
Unfortunately for me, this also meant that my mom and sister Lily would be around if they wanted, but I couldn't allow myself to think about that. In my opinion, Auric was a lucky bastard that – so far as I knew – none of his family was on hand to witness this bet! For several hours prior to the start of the party, I sat staring in the mirror in mild horror and panic, wondering yet again just what I had gotten myself into.
My mother caught me staring at myself and laughed. “Don't worry, love. I plan to stay right here all night. I look forward to collecting my earnings when you win the bet, but I don't really need to see it happen!”
I sighed in relief. “That's actually a huge load off my mind,” I muttered.
My husband – on the other hand – might just take full advantage of this opportunity, so be aware of that...” Mom warned me.
I shrugged indifferently. “That's not such a concern for me.”
Apparently, it's not such a big concern for Auric either!” Mom exclaimed with a shrug. She came up behind me and wrapped her arms around me. “I'd wish you luck, but I really don't think you'll need it!” Kissing me on the cheek, she then turned and walked away. “Have fun!”
I certainly plan to try!” I called after her cheekily.
Now... what does one wear to a party where one is going to be busy having sex until one passes out?! Nothing seemed like a good idea – after all – presumably I would be taking it right back off anyway. Finally, I settled on a pair of fashionable but tight pants and a shirt that made me feel like a sexy pirate. The shirt was lightweight and would be no great loss if it got torn or misplaced.
Feeling as ready as I was ever going to get, I exited the room I was staying in. Prince Collin looked overjoyed to see me. He got to his feet and hastily bowed to me before kissing my hand.
You look exquisite!” Collin assured me. “I may regret this until the day I die, but my parents have forbidden me from enjoying either of you tonight and casting doubt on the legitimacy of my heir. I find the mere suggestion ludicrous! My son looks just like me!” He sighed in defeat. “However... I must obey my parents...”
I'm sorry,” I murmured sympathetically.
Are you really?” He asked, sounding both curious and suspicious.
I nodded sincerely. I may not be attracted to him, but he sounded so melancholic about not being allowed to participate that I truly did feel bad for him.
Well then,” he purred suggestively as he stroked my cheek. “There's always tomorrow...”
My mother cleared her throat significantly, interrupting what was proving to be a thoroughly enjoyable kiss. “Collin...”
What?!” Collin asked, sounding harassed. “He's willing!”
Maybe so, but he's still my son!” Mom growled, clearly warning him to behave. I found this interesting because she had basically implied consent earlier. Perhaps she didn't really mind it happening, she just did not ever want to know about it. I shrugged, not really caring either way.
Yes dear,” Collin replied, sighing in defeat. Tucking my hand in his arm, he led me out of the apartment. “Come, let's not keep your opponent waiting!”
He may not have permission to participate, but he clearly planned to enjoy watching every second! I chuckled in amusement that he seemed so excited at the prospect. Giggling, he proved me right.
I'm so excited!” Collin confessed. “This is the first time ever that my parents have even considered having such a naughty party! I think they might finally be relaxing in their old age!”
Smiling at him, I wondered what it must have been like to grow up as the heir to the throne, expected to have an heir of his own one day while clearly preferring the touch of men. His parents must have had to be fairly strict with him! Then – when he couldn't do as they wanted – they sent him to be tortured and forced him to get married and have an heir anyway.
According to my sister, Lily,” I murmured conspiratorially. “Rumor has it that the King and Queen are tired of not being in the mood and are hoping that this interesting little party will put them both in such a mood that they tear each other's clothes off!”
Ew...” Collin groaned. “I guess that I didn't really want to think about that. However, if it gets them to relax, then I wish them the mood as often as possible!”
I laughed heartily at that. “Believe me, I know how you feel!”
Suddenly, I realized that we were right outside the private entrance to the the ballroom. King William and his friend were waiting for us, along with Auric. Wow... Don't get me wrong, I love having sex with women. I have four of them, after all, but seriously, wow! This man was gorgeous! He had blonde hair and the face of a God! I felt rather plain standing next to him.
Auric gave me a deeply flourished bow. “Lord Blood! I'm pleased to finally meet you!”
I did not have time to say anything before Prince Collin, King William, and his friend all burst into laughter. “I think I may have just won this bet!” The King's friend roared, pleased by the prospect.
Don't worry,” Collin murmured in my ear, closing my gaping jaw. “We all have that reaction to Auric, even those of us who are decidedly straight...”
Pardon my rudeness!” I exclaimed, trying to recover my composure with a rather plain but still gallant bow. “I'm pleased to meet you too!”
Auric smiled serenely on the outside, but I got the feeling that he was disappointed for some reason. Extending his hand, he took mine in his and shook it firmly. “No matter which of us wins this bet, I hope that we end up friends.”
I think I'd like that...” I murmured, still sort of swooning over him. I felt like a bit of an idiot for not being able to say anything intelligent around him!
The doors opened wide to let us see just how many people were already in the ballroom. I was told – later on – that most of the people had gotten to the party early because they were curious to see just who would be brave enough to participate, but that most people also assumed that they wouldn't participate. Only after quite a bit of wine had been drunk and tight morals had been relaxed... Only then did people shed their inhibitions.
That said, the King had anticipated that the party might start slowly, and had hired a pair of gorgeous courtesans for each of us. He had also secured the promise of a couple of Ladies – widows who would not be shamed in any way by participating – to volunteer after the courtesans were finished with us.
I approached the pair of beds slowly, looking around to gauge just how many people would be watching me. I had to force myself not to count! As the King explained the bet once again for the benefit of those who perhaps hadn't fully understood it, Auric leaned over to whisper in my ear.
I must admit that I'm nervous! I've never had an audience quite this large before!” Auric confessed.
Me either!” I whispered to him in return. “Usually it's just my lovers, my wife, and perhaps a prisoner or two...”
Right?” Auric asked with an understanding nod. “Those who plan to join in at some point. I'm not sure that I can rise to the occasion with so many impartial spectators.”
Exactly!” I agreed, but then tried to shrug it off like I wasn't concerned. “That would make this bet a short-lived and disappointing spectacle...”
Auric clearly wanted to say something, but before he could, the King finished up his speech. “And so, without further ado, let the bet begin!”
He gestured to the courtesans, who responded by guiding Auric and me to our respective beds. Having a pair of beautiful women whose sole job was to please me helped tremendously when it came to ignoring the audience. They distracted me with deep and lingering kisses while removing my clothes. Before I had a chance to gulp in apprehension, the scantily clad ladies – who wore sheer garments – had me completely naked.
For one heart-stopping moment, I was certain that everyone was going to laugh at me – especially after they saw how good-looking Auric was! But a nervous glance around assured me that all of the ladies who were watching me had looks of appreciation on their faces. Prince Collin was positively drooling as he tried to decide which of us to watch!
I looked over at Auric, who had also picked that moment to glance at me. We both grinned, deciding that it didn't matter which of us won this bet, we were both going to have a ton of fun trying! One of the courtesans made me gasp as her oral attention gave me an erection I wasn't quite expecting so soon.
She was skilled enough with her mouth that I quickly realized that I couldn't just shoot my load like I wanted to. It wouldn't disqualify me if I could keep going, but if I ejaculated so soon, I may as well concede the bet... There's no way I could outlast Auric if I didn't keep control of myself!
Deciding that my best bet was to simply change something every time I felt close to shooting my load, I grabbed the courtesan and pulled her under me. This gave me a few moments to cool down and kiss her before plunging deep inside her. Her companion tried to drive me crazy by raking her nails up and down my back, but I was able to ignore her for the most part since her nails had nothing on Sang-Soif's.
Judging by the reactions that I was largely trying to pay no attention to, people were impressed by my bold decision to progress to the main event so quickly. Some murmured that I was setting myself up for defeat by not pacing myself. Little did they know...
Just when I was certain that I would soon fill the courtesan – many long minutes later – I grabbed the other one and pulled her atop the first one so that I could kiss her. This gave me an opportunity to pause and take a break. Slowly, I pulled out of the first courtesan and rolled onto the second.
The first decided that it was her turn to run her nails along my back, making me shudder from the delicious pleasure. I slid into the second with a happy moan. This one knew how to flex her inner muscles in a way that made my eyes cross!
This gave me an idea, so I rolled onto my back, holding her so that she remained on top of me. With an eager grin, I gave her permission to ride me however she liked. Meanwhile, I grabbed the first courtesan again and settled her on my face. She gasped in unexpected delight, and then ground her hips into me.
The audience sounded impressed by my ability to multi-task. Little did they know that I had a great deal of practice in this position. Focusing on a woman's pleasure would give me the ability to last all night if I had to!
It didn't take long for the first courtesan to start shuddering with impending orgasm. She sounded almost astonished by this fact, which made me wonder how many of her customers ever bothered to see to her needs. Suddenly, she started squealing and the whole room fell silent.
A new woman – one of the widows that had promised to join in after the courtesans – crawled into bed. She began by kissing the panting courtesan, and then murmuring in her ear. I noticed that the widow had a fashionable dress on; one that would make my task much too difficult.
Would you help my Lady remove her dress, my dear?” I asked the first courtesan, who complied with a nod.
This gave me time to grin at the second courtesan – who was rocking herself into a state of pleasure that felt wonderful on my shaft. Looking around, I noticed that Auric was doing pretty well himself. He was kneeling behind one of his courtesans, banging into her as she orally pleasured the other. That looked fun, but I could tell that the Lady widow was impatient to experience my tongue.
She waved the courtesan away the moment her outer dress and underskirts were gone, and left the rest of her clothes on. I found this intriguingly sexy! Her bodice and chemise hid her plump breasts from sight even though her womanhood was on display for all to see. It was an intriguing contrast in modesty that made me want to stare at her all night.
She settled on my face delicately, taking only one moment to whisper to me. “It's been a really long time since I've had any pleasure. I sincerely hope that that whore wasn't just acting to help you win the bet...”
Grasping her hips with my hands, I gave her a smoldering look. “She wasn't. You'll see,” I promised before focusing on my task.
She inhaled deeply, as if almost afraid. By her hopeful expression, I gathered that she was afraid that I would disappoint her. Using all the skill I possessed, I took the time to prove to her that I could please even her. She cried out repeatedly in joy, alternating with happy sighs. Eventually, rather than squeal, she inhaled a gasp and held it for a long moment as her body shook violently.
This happened to coincide with the second courtesan finally finding her release, which made it extremely difficult to control my need to pump her full, but control it I did! I am certain that a few drops escaped me, but not enough to deflate my shaft. So far, so good! I may not be clearly winning the bet, but I wasn't losing it either!
Squeals from the other bed announced that Auric wasn't doing so bad either. I didn't really have time to look over at him because my Lady widow was eager to proceed. She loudly evicted the second courtesan from her seat, and then straddled me so that she could impale herself on my shaft.
Since I didn't have another woman to focus on at the moment, I decided to sit up and kiss her as she figured out what speed pleased her the most. As it turned out, she preferred a somewhat slow and grinding pace that gave her an opportunity to wrap her arms around me and return my kisses.
At one point, she blushed a becoming shade of pink, and buried her face into my neck. “I can't believe I am doing this in front of everyone!
I chuckled. “I understand! I hadn't ever pictured anything like this before either.”
Then, whispering in my ear, she confessed: “Oh! You feel so good inside me!”
I completely agree! “You feel good too,” I assured her.
Quite a long time passed in sheer bliss with the two of us making love. We somehow managed to forget that we had an audience and simply focused on each other. I eventually succeeded in finding the right way to stimulate her and brought her to another glorious orgasm. She spasmed so strongly on my shaft that I really thought I was going to lose control!
By the Gods!” She cried out loudly enough for everyone to hear when she was done, but not quite ready to slide off my shaft. “That was so worth it! Thank you!”
I smiled at her, probably looking a bit smug to hear that. “You are welcome!”
A trio of married Ladies crawled into bed with me next. Each glanced to their husbands uncertainly. I intuitively understood that they were eager to experience an orgasm, but afraid to offend their husbands. Fortunately for them, their husbands confirmed their permission, all looking excited to watch.
Honestly, I have no idea if pleasuring a woman was really such a rare thing, or if it simply looked better when I did it, or what, but it seemed like every Lady in the palace who could get permission came to me at some point! Quite a few of them only wanted me to pleasure them with my tongue, but enough of them wanted a ride that I was rightfully worried that I might not have the stamina to accommodate them all!
Several hours into the bet, everyone had relaxed and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the party. Auric and I both seemed a little drunk at this point, despite not having a drop of wine to drink! For me, it was getting harder and harder to control the urge to pump someone full and pass out!
Suddenly, the crowd got strangely quiet. I looked around curiously to find them watching an astonishingly beautiful woman in shock. She unfastened an ornate robe, and then let it fall to the ground.
Eri!” Auric called out sternly.
Shut up, Auric! If you can have sex with everyone in the palace, I can certainly be forgiven for joining in on the fun!” She glared at him for a moment to prove her point, and then crawled into bed with me. Her naked body was luscious, but also seemed to shine with an inner light that I don't recall ever seeing before.
Is something wrong?” I whispered to her after she had pushed away the two women using me and straddled my lap. She did not guide me inside her, and somewhere deep inside, I had the sense to realize that this was probably a very good thing!
Not at all,” she assured me with a sensual look. “I think my brother simply disapproves of me doing this...”
I thought about this for a moment, feeling a tad guilty myself for being in bed with a friend's sister, but then I realized that Auric had already bedded at least one of my sisters. Possibly both! So I didn't feel too bad.
Shrugging, I made a rash promise. “I'll make sure you're so pleased by the time I'm done that you'll talk about me the way everyone else talks about your brother.”
She rolled her eyes, shook her head, and chuckled ever so softly. “Perhaps, but that's not what I am looking for. I simply want to have a bit of fun...”
She and I kissed for a fairly long time before she encouraged me to roll with her. Once she was on her back, she whispered a command for me to bury my face between her legs. I complied eagerly, and was surprised to find that it didn't take her long to reach orgasm. What shocked me more, however, was that she seemed to have an almost electric energy that affected me strangely. I almost came with her despite no direct stimulation to my shaft!
I was going to stop here...” she murmured as she pushed me off of her and then rolled over so that she could get to her hands and knees. “But I just don't want to!”
Sex with her was interesting in that I had to change positions practically every minute to avoid going off. She was delightfully sensitive, able to achieve a mini-orgasm every 30 seconds or so. This meant that she shuddered nearly constantly, but was also the reason I was going to lose this bet!
Deciding that I didn't care, I rolled her onto her back – our 7th change of position, at least! Picking a medium speed with a lot of power, I literally banged into her for as long as I possibly could. At that last moment, when I had a split second to decide whether to stop and take a break or pump her full, I gasped as I realized that it was already too late. With a thoroughly satisfied roar, I filled her to overflowing!
My climax seemed to convert her mini-orgasm into a powerful one, which left her covering her mouth with both hands as she squealed in pleasure. She tossed her head side to side for a few moments before being able to finally catch her breath. When she was done and melted into a puddle, she looked at me in shock.
The audience was almost deafening! They all cheered and clapped. Many assumed that they had just won the bet, but I planned to prove them wrong shortly.
By the gods...” Eri whispered in awe. “I didn't believe it was actually possible to feel that!”
Such a strong orgasm?” I questioned.
Nodding, she forced a tight smile to her face. “Uh... could you please get off of me?”
Wishing that I could simply pass out, I forced myself to sit up. My whole body vibrated, but I think this was a bad thing; a combination of hunger and exhaustion!
Eri smiled softly at me. “You did well, and so I grant you a small reward,” she muttered so softly that even I almost didn't hear her. She gave me one last kiss, but this kiss had to be magical! I felt my fatigue melt away just a little. Not enough that I could claim to be good as new, but enough to restore me to the point I was at before having sex with her. Even my shaft hardened back up!
After that, she slipped from the bed and left me feeling strangely bereft. I didn't have long to think about it though, because a man stepped up to the bed and grinned at me. I noticed that he looked handsome and manly with just a hint of something undefinable.
It is well known that I enjoy a male lover from time to time. Are you adverse to this?” He asked me.
Not particularly,” I informed him with a smile. Inside, I was a tiny bit relieved. If he planned to be inside me, then my overly sensitive shaft would be able to take a break, of sorts.
With an eager grin, he gestured to his wife. She lay on the bed and spread her legs before me. With a single crook of her finger, she beckoned me to please her. I complied, interested to note that he got into position behind me, working himself up as he watched his wife moan in pleasure.
The crowd murmured in shock that I agreed to this so easily. Since I was clearly good with the ladies, they hadn't expected me to accept male lovers. I could almost feel a current of excitement race around the large ballroom as people got closer in order to see better.
He pushed into me gently, which I appreciated, but once he was buried deep, he chose a pace that had me gasping into his wife. I both liked it and was afraid that he might hurt me. With a purposefully deep breath, I relaxed and tried my best to focus on what I was doing.
It was like the last bastion of morality had just broken – and though I didn't notice it at the time – men surrounded the beds Auric and I were on to wait their turn. Women still lined up too, which meant that we were both overrun with eager lovers waiting to thoroughly fuck us into the bed!
If I ever managed to keep it, I now lost all track of who was doing what. I licked, sucked, rode, and was ridden by so many people that I couldn't even begin to guess how many! If I could think straight, I might have considered surrendering, but I doubt that anyone would have let me.
I was definitely feeling utterly drunk at this point. I still hadn't had a sip of alcohol, and barely any of water! Even so, the sheer amount of love in my body was intoxicating. It felt a bit like I was flying; the world was spinning, and my body kept quaking from the pleasure.
Not that I would admit this out loud, but the only thing that could have possibly made this any better, was if I was tied to Sang-Soif while Glacèe was whipping us. My throat was raw from crying out in pleasure, and it was getting harder and harder to see straight! I wanted to stop almost as much as I wanted to keep going until I died from sheer exhaustion!
I could hear something in Auric's cries that led me to believe that he was experiencing the same state of over-stimulation that I was. I wanted to go to him and comfort him. I wanted to tell him that I understood exactly how he felt, because I was feeling it too. But I didn't because some insane part deep down inside could not lose this bet!
Just when I thought for sure that I really was going to pass out – under three men and on top of two women – Auric shouted as loudly as he possibly could, which wasn't saying much because his throat was raw too.
Enough! This is insane! We are obviously equally matched, so I declare this bet officially tied!” Auric climbed out from the pile of bodies playing with him, and then climbed into bed with me. The enthusiastic lovers in my bed all gave us some room, watching us eagerly to see what we planned to do next.
Tie?” Auric asked, holding out his hand for me to clasp.
Tie!” I accepted eagerly, shaking his hand. He shocked me by giving me a kiss that sent a thrill down to my toes and back up. I'd swear that even my hair was standing on end after that kiss!
Moaning happily, I grabbed his face and returned his kiss. We tumbled onto our backs and lightly wrestled around on the bed. A part of me was secretly thrilled! I'd half obsessed over having sex with him ever since the moment I first saw him. I had planned to corner him sometime tomorrow – after we'd both recovered! – and challenge him to a much more private contest of stamina.
Now, however, neither of us truly had the energy left to have deeply satisfying sex. Instead, we settled into a comfortable position, laying on our sides with our shafts tucked between each other's legs. It took only about five minutes of us kissing and gently grinding our bodies together for us both to shoot our loads. Ironically, we did so at the same time, which meant that our contest was officially a tie, no matter what anybody wanted to say about it.
As we lay in a state of lethargic half-sleep, we heard people discussing the bet. Apparently a handful of people had wagered on a tie, and were now fairly well off! It was decided that for all of the individual side bets, a tie truly was the only fair way to settle the winnings.
However, the original bet between the King and his friend was a bit more complicated. Since the King's friend had been so sure that no man could even keep up with Auric, us ending in a tie had actually proven him wrong. Thus, the King declared that he had won the bet, and most people agreed with him.
The Queen chuckled humorously, declared the bet officially over, and then bestowed her husband with a rare public kiss. As I understand it, their mission was also accomplished! They were both in the mood, and they left to go take advantage of it.
I could vaguely hear other people copulating around the ballroom, but as for me and Auric? We were out cold!

As I slept, I was eventually carried to my own bed. I must have slept for a full day and a half straight! Long enough that my mother grew worried about me. She and my sister came in to check on me at some point.
Should I maybe call a doctor?” Mom murmured, likely biting her lip in concern.
Nah!” Lily dissuaded her, sounding almost like she was gloating. “I wandered into the ballroom from time to time, and believe me, if he wakes up anytime soon, I'll faint from shock!”
Lily...” Mom chuckled, probably shaking her head in a combination of disapproval and amusement.
What?!” Lily wondered, trying to feign innocence. “I have to agree with Eri Lightstone! If our brothers can have sex with everyone in the palace, then we can be forgiven for joining in on the fun.”
Thank the Gods that I have no recollection of Lily being anywhere near the ballroom! If she did join in on the fun, it wasn't anywhere I had to see. I can now somewhat understand how Auric must have felt to see his sister crawl in bed with me...
Mom laughed richly. “I see your point! Just do me a favor and never tell your father that I know anything about it. I really don't need him blaming me for letting you be part of such a debaucherous night!”
Agreed!” Lily exclaimed fervently.
They really tied?” Mom asked, sounding incredulous.
Yep!” Lily confirmed. “It was really something to see! If he wasn't my brother, I would have paid much closer attention!”
I know I bet that he would win, but I must admit that I only half expected to be right!” Mom exclaimed. “Part of me was sure that he'd admit defeat after about an hour or so.”
I totally bet on Auric!” Lily confessed, not sounding ashamed by this statement at all. Even in my sleep, I was grumpy with her for not believing in me. “I'd had a taste of Auric's skill, so I fully believed that he would win the bet.”
Let me guess, don't ever tell Harvey I know about that...” Mom remarked dryly.
Maybe...” Lily drawled. “I might just tell him myself and dare him to get mad at me, after what he did!
Mom laughed and I am almost certain that she was shaking her head. “You two certainly have an interesting relationship.”
At least it's not boring, right?” Lily asked with a lovey dovey purr to her voice.
I guess not!” Mom admitted. She put a hand on my forehead. “Well... he seems fine. I think we should probably let him sleep.”
And let Prince Collin finish telling you the highlights,” Lily remarked with a laugh.
Mom chuckled in amusement as they walked away. “My husband certainly had fun just watching the event! It's all he can talk about!”
Lily defended our stepfather. “Hey! It's worth talking about!”
So I gather...” mom replied with a chuckle, and then the door closed and I could no longer hear them.

I spent almost two weeks at the Palace. Growing up, I would have been horrified to even think about such a possibility! I was – after all – raised the son of a simple farmer. Under normal circumstances, I would never had an opportunity to meet with the King. But then, I became a Lord...
I think it's a testament to how much I have settled into my role that I could mingle with all the other Clans at the palace and not feel uncomfortable. To my surprise, they made me feel welcome! Very few of them mentioned that I was essentially an upstart who didn't know my true place. The vast majority treated me as something of a hero! After all, I was a mere mortal who had managed to possess enough stamina to keep up with an honest to Gods Saint dedicated to the Goddess of Love!
The Ladies loved me, flirting with me constantly, and the men... well, most of them wanted to be my friend! They'd pat me on the back to congratulate me – once again – for having sex with practically everyone in the palace! They'd take me out to taverns and buy me drinks until I couldn't see straight! Although, apparently, I had stamina when it came to drinking too.
Also, during this two weeks, I met with the King and gave him a full report on my duties as Lord of Clan Blood. He was happy that I had acquitted myself well, which was a huge load off my mind! I had been half terrified that I'd be found lacking...
On my last day before I planned to go home, the King threw me banquet, and then finally got around to asking me what I wanted as a reward for winning him his bet. Fortunately, this had given me time to thoroughly think through all my options. There really wasn't anything I wanted or needed, so I decided to ask for something zany; something I was sure he'd probably refuse...
Well now, out with it, my boy!” The King insisted when I hesitated a moment too long.
With a cheeky grin, I blurted out what was on my mind. “Make this a yearly event!”
The King stared at me blankly for one second before my words fully sank in. Then – as everyone held their breath in shock and the fear that they might miss his response – the King burst out laughing. I twisted my lips wryly, not sure whether he was laughing at me for having the gall to make such a suggestion, or if he was simply laughing at the absurdity of the suggestion. As it turned out, I was wrong.
Done!” He roared in delight. “From now on, each year, we shall have one day dedicated to the Goddess of Love and celebrate it with a contest of stamina. For the next few years, you and Auric will be the first choices for contestants, but if either of you should happen to decline – or otherwise be unavailable – then the contest will be open to anyone who cares to enter it. If an abundance of contestants enter, then two shall be selected in a random drawing. Have I forgotten anything, or does this please you?”
It does,” I confirmed with a triumphant smile. I felt inordinately proud of myself for some reason. No matter what else Clan Blood will be remembered for, I had just now made sure that my Clan would also be remembered for bringing more love to the Kingdom. For now, that was more than enough for me!

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