You would think that escaping from Varun's demesne relatively unscathed would be a cause for celebration, and let the twins take a moment to breathe. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for them. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Chapter 05 = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Assassins Eldon's body ached as consciousness forced itself on him.
His head felt as though an ogre was using it to play a game of table tennis. He was losing. A groan escaped him as his eyes opened. He couldn't remember the last time he felt this hung-over, but he couldn't remember drinking last night either. "Five more minutes," Gloria muttered next to him. Eldon looked around, trying to get his bearings. They were in the Orange Bubble, the curtains drawn tight but letting in some light.
Gloria lay next to him in bed, stark naked. So was he. He couldn't remember sleeping with her last night. For that matter, he couldn't remember much of anything after going through the undersea portal into Earth. "My head hurts," Shelly groaned.
Her head popped up from the floor at the foot of the bed. Eldon looked away from his sister as he realized she was also naked. The twins had seen each other naked plenty of times before, but for some reason, Eldon's cheeks burned with embarrassment. Jessica popped up next, right beside Shelly, looking as embarrassed as Eldon felt.
"What happened last night?" "Ugh," Gloria moaned and covered her head with a pillow. "Even succubae need their beauty sleep." "When did you make it back?" Brooke asked, poking her head out of the fountain. "I thought you stayed behind to fight Poseidon. Do you kids have any coffee in here?
I feel like I've been hit by a truck." "I could use some coffee as well," Bridgette said behind her mother and rubbed her eyes. Neither of them seemed to be bothered by the fact that they were topless. The inappropriate thought that there were thousands of people out there that would love to see the supermodel naked, and here he was wishing he could just duck his head under the covers and wish the day away. "Poseidon was a pushover," Gloria stated with a grunt.
She tossed the pillow aside and sat up. Despite her comment about needing beauty sleep, Eldon thought she looked delightful.
She smiled at him and patted his cheek. "Thank you, sweety. Every girl likes to hear that first thing in the morning." He felt his cheeks burn hotter, having forgotten that as a succubus, she could read his mind. Hopefully she wouldn't read too deep and know what her fantastic body was making him think. "That's nice too," she told him with a wink and a smile, making his cheeks darken and his manhood harden. "I want to know why we're all naked.
I should have gotten dressed before going to sleep," Shelly muttered. She groaned as she wrapped a blanket around her and walked to one of the armoires by the bed.
"And why am I so sore?" "Swimming can take a lot out of you," Jessica offered. She must have forgotten that Shelly did very little swimming yesterday. Eldon's head hurt too much to point that out. All of him hurt to much. He moved to the armoire that housed his clothing and dressed while trying to maintain some small shred of decency. The inside of the car was spacious, but there were a lot of people in here, and he was the only male. Part of him wished Bridgette would change.
There was too much estrogen floating around. Brooke stepped out of the fountain and Eldon noticed an odd look cross her face. "I'm pretty sore everywhere too." She gave Bridgette a glance, and then shook her head. "I really need that coffee." "So…" Shelly said as she pulled her pants on, finishing getting dressed. She was looking at Gloria in a way that made Eldon nervous.
"Aphrodite, huh?" "That was a long time ago," she said evenly. "I'm a different person now." "And Lilly?" Shelly pressed. "Leave her alone," Eldon snapped, feeling his anger rise as his sister attacked his girlfriend. "She saved us yesterday, and you're treating her like she's the bad guy." He'd made the mistake of not coming to her defense once before. He wouldn't do that again. Shelly gave him a sad look that he recognized. It was the same look she gave him when she thought he was being foolish.
Well, he wasn't being stupid. She was. Every time he started liking a girl, she interfered. She'd done it with Jessica, and now she was doing it with Gloria. Gloria's hand on his shoulder stopped his mental tirade. "Thank you, Eldon, but I'm a big girl." There was only a slight tone of rebuke in her voice, but it hit him hard. She gave his cheek a soft kiss which mollified him a little. "I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I think your sister should ask what's really on her mind." Shelly glared, and Eldon heard Jessica mutter, "Rude to read minds," as though she had any room to speak.
"What was all that talk about the Firsts?" Shelly asked. "I haven't heard of them either," Brooke piped up, though she seemed in a better mood than Shelly. "I'm not surprised," Gloria said. "They try to keep that a secret. Very few know of them." "They?" Jessica asked, arching one eyebrow.
"So you're not one of them?" Gloria looked at her lap and shook her head. "The Firsts were the first beings created, along with the creation of the universe. Or maybe they're part of the universe itself. They were here before time began. Chronos, the true inventor of time, gathered the Firsts together and created the Earth. They also forced out the Outsiders who thrived on chaos.
They brought order to existence." "Outsiders? You mean the things our dad fought during the Chaos War?" Eldon asked. "Yes. They're always trying to find their way back. They're jealous of the order that was created, and want to destroy it." Gloria looked at him as though she was afraid what he might think of all of this. "What does it mean to be a First, other than being old?" Jessica asked. "Being old isn't so bad," Gloria responded. "It means that they're unkillable. I don't mean they're immortal in the normal sense.
Vampires are immortal, but can be killed a number of ways. The Firsts can't be killed." "But Poseidon said that TanaVesta was a First, and Dad killed her. He also said that Varun was dying from what Dad did to him," Shelly stated. "Yes, and that worries me." Gloria sounded afraid. She hadn't sounded like that when she faced Poseidon yesterday, but she did now. "During the Chaos War, the Outsider tried to kill the Pillars of this world to make it unstable. If enough of the Firsts fall, reality would crumble and everyone would die." "How many Firsts are there?" Eldon asked.
He sat next to Gloria and gave her a smile. He wasn't sure why she was so nervous. It's not like it mattered to him how old she was. As a person who could change his appearance at will, he knew the value of who a person was rather than what they looked like.
And it's not like she's one of them. She smiled back at him and rested her head on his shoulder. "No one knows how many there are. There aren't many, though. All of the original Pillars and Chronos are all I know for sure." "If they're so secretive, how do you know about them?" Jessica demanded.
"And if they're supposedly unkillable, why keep their existence a secret?" Gloria's eyes narrowed as she lifted her head from Eldon's shoulder. He glared at the girl he once cared for, not liking her attitude, but he remembered Gloria's admonition that she could care for herself and kept his mouth shut. "For the same reason I can't read your mind," Gloria said. Her voice was calm, but her eyes were lightning. "Everyone wants to have their own secrets. When you're that old and hold that much power, you don't want everyone to know.
If people know you're unkillable, some of them will take that as a challenge and try to kill you. Doesn't make for a peaceful existence." "But they can be killed," Bridgette said from the fountain. Eldon had all but forgotten she was there. "Dad could do it. But, wait… I thought all of the Pillars' strength and power came from their mantles.
If they're as strong as you say, then why did they need the mantles to create the Shadow World?" Gloria was silent for a moment. Eldon knew she was trying to figure out how to answer that question. "Lysa," she said after a few moments. "Look at your sister. She's had the Mantle of Air for over twenty years, but she still can't control it perfectly.
Whenever she's around, the wind blows, no matter how hard she tries to control it. Yes, the Firsts are incredibly powerful. Creating the Shadow World required both power and precision. When they made our reality, all they needed was power. When they made the Shadow World, they were splitting off a portion of reality for us to survive in.
It required precision to keep from destroying Earth in the process. They hammered out the universe, but needed a scalpel to create a separate reality within their universe. For one of the Firsts, the mantle changes a nuke into an extremely sharp scalpel. It also absorbs some of their strength so that they don't stand out as much, and can blend in.
That excess power is what Lysa and Angela now wield as the Pillars of Air and Fire." "Will that power run out?" Shelly asked, alarmed. "What happens when their mantles run dry? Will the Shadow World collapse?" Gloria shook her head again. "Not very likely. At least, not for a few hundred years.
And even then, four of the six Pillars should be able to support the Shadow World. The reason it was dangerous before, was because an Outsider was there, actively trying to tear apart that world. Of course, the way the worlds are working together now means that maybe there won't be a need to have two different worlds within a century or two." "The Daughters of Respite and the Paladonic Knights are still out there, preaching their hate," Brooke spoke up.
"They may be weakened now, but I know firsthand how much they want us destroyed." "There will always be those out there that hate," Gloria soothed her. "Both sides have proven that time and—" "You still haven't said how you know so much," Jessica interrupted. Gloria stared at her for a long moment before a grin split her lips. "And you haven't told them everything about you, either. What did Marchosias call you?
The prodigal daughter? We all have some secrets. As Aphrodite, I could make you spill them all. I could make you love me and become my willing and devoted disciple, but I won't." Jessica's face went white at the threat.
"I won't force someone to do something against their will." "You're right," Shelly moved to Jessica's side and took her hand. Eldon hadn't realized how close the two had become until this moment. For a second he grew jealous.
Had his sister drove a wedge between them because she wanted Jessica? He'd never thought of his sister as devious, but now he wondered. "No," Gloria muttered next to him, quiet enough so only he could hear. "Your sister truly cares about you and wants you to be happy." He felt guilty for a moment, both for suspecting his sister of something, and for being relieved that his girlfriend could read Shelly's mind enough to soothe him.
Gloria's arm slipped around his waist and hugged him. "For better or worse, we're all tied up in this now," Gloria said. "We're on the same team.
We need to be able to trust each other, but forcing someone to reveal their secrets won't allow that to happen." For a moment, it looked to Eldon like Jessica was going to argue. She opened her mouth, ready to say something, closed it, opened it again, then nodded.
"Fine, but don't expect me to trust you completely." Gloria smiled, but didn't take the bait. "Where are we?" Bridgette asked. She was confined to the fountain and couldn't look out the window. "We're back on land," Aunt Brooke stated as she pulled a curtain aside.
"Not sure where though. Wish I could remember what happened after we got in here last night. We're still moving, so the Orange Bubble must know where we need to be." "How can a car know where we need to be?" Jessica asked. Eldon was used to the car and its mysterious ways. It held a portion of the Pillar of Fire's soul, from before she was the Pillar. It could act on its own and often did. Gloria didn't seem surprised by the statement, though, so Eldon figured she could sense the portion of soul in the car, or the Pillar of Fire had told her about it already.
"It's more than just a portion," Gloria said to him while his sister started explaining to Jessica. "After over twenty years, it's gained its own identity. I think Angela and the car are still linked, but not as much as they once were." Eldon nodded, accepting what she was saying.
He lived in a world where magic and mystery were commonplace. Why not a car that was a living entity all on its own? Eldon's phone gave a short ring, and he heard Shelly's buzz a second later. He moved to the nightstand where his phone rested and picked it up. He had a text message from an unknown number. His forehead crinkled as he read it. "Does yours say the same thing?" Shelly asked him. "What does it say?" Brooke asked and looked over Shelly's shoulder. Eldon hit the link in his message, and waited for the video to start streaming.
"…Ambassador Snow will be addressing the United Nations on that in Washington," a female news reporter stated in the live feed. "As attacks from magical creatures increase, fears have risen about whether the Shadow World is truly as peaceful as the Pillars would have us believe." The woman stood outside of a large white building, and Eldon couldn't deny he thought she looked beautiful with her long strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes.
"I could look like her for you if you want," Gloria whispered in his ear. Eldon immediately felt shame for his thoughts.
"Don't feel bad," Gloria told him with a peck to his cheek. "Looks aren't the most important thing to most of us succubae. Besides, I understand you're a man and your eyes will wonder. I know what you feel for me." "And as Aphrodite?" He couldn't help but ask. "She was quite the jealous woman from what I remember being taught." "I'm not her, anymore," Gloria said with a hurt tone.
"You're right," he told her, forcing himself to meet her eyes. "You're Gloria. One helluva kisser, and my perfect girlfriend." He gave her a quick kiss on the lips and turned his attention back to his phone and the news report. "Many are suggesting that the United Nations should set up border patrols like we do along our borders here in the US," an older gentleman back in the studio said. "Have you heard anything on that where you are, Shlee?" The camera returned to the attractive woman, who held her earpiece in while listening to the guy in the studio.
"You're right Mark. I spoke with some protesters earlier today about that. They agreed with the D.O.R. and P.K. groups, saying that we need to impose greater sanctions against the creatures from the other world." Eldon knew who the D.O.R. and P.K. groups were; the Daughters of Respite and the Paladonic Knights. The attractive reporter was still talking.
"Here is a clip from an interview with one of the protesters earlier today." The scene changed, and now the woman was talking with a man in his mid-forties. He had short cropped gray hair and looked to be in good physical shape, despite wearing shabby clothing. Gloria tensed next to him and he glanced her way. "That's Michael Mulhan," she told them. "He's the Paladonic Knights' head of propaganda.
If he's in front of the camera, you know the damned P.K.'s are behind the unrest." "Magic is an unholy thing," Michael was telling the reporter. "The Bible speaks about how it is evil to use powers from the devil. Anything from that world is unnatural and should be destroyed, not treated as though they have some sort of rights in our world.
This world belongs to the humans, not the monsters." "What about those that say that God is the Pillar of Light and resides in the Shadow World?" Shlee asked. The man sneered as he answered. "A trick of the Devil. God is not some magical being existing in that realm of sin. They call it the Shadow World for a reason, and it's not because it's always dark there.
It is the world from which all mankind's nightmares reside." Michael laughed at his own joke, but Shlee didn't. The screen flashed back to the present with Shlee standing in front of the government building.
"As you can see, the protesters are firm in their beliefs. They stated that they don't believe that Ambassador Snow should be here, talking to the United Nations, much less our own president." "Thank you, Shlee Olsen," the male reporter back in the studio stated as the camera cut back to him. "Keep an eye on that crowd and keep us informed, but stay safe." The camera angle changed, showing the group a familiar face, while keeping the male reporter in the frame.
"In our studio we have a representative from Ambassador Snow's camp, to give us the other side of the story. Becky Snow, one of Ambassador Lyden Snow's wives, is here with us." He turned to face one of the twins' stepmoms to address her. "Mrs. Snow, what can you tell us about the meeting your husband is going into, today?" Becky had aged well over the last twenty-two years.
Her brown hair didn't show a hint of gray, though she was also in her mid-forties. There were fine lines around her mouth and eyes, but she looked like she was in her early thirties.
Eldon had once heard his sister mention that Gaia kept her looking young. Eldon didn't know if it was true, but she looked good for her age. "I can't comment on everything, Mark," Becky stated with a genuine smile. She wasn't the most attractive of his dad's wives, but had an inner beauty that made her glow anyway. "What I can say, is that my husband is meeting with the world leaders about the increased attacks in both worlds.
While a few humans have been attacked in the Shadow World, there have been many more magical creatures attacked in this one. Lyden wants to find a peaceful solution for all of us to coexist." "You heard the interview with the protesters," Mark replied as though he were reading from a script, instead of listening to Becky. "What would you say to them?" Becky's grin grew hungry as she looked at the host.
"That human history is full of people making claims that others shouldn't exist, simply because they were different. Hitler did it during World War II, trying to build up his Aryan race, while decimating the Jews. The Ku Klux Klan has tried for decades to subjugate others, for no other reason than their skin color. All of them have one thing in common: they're racists. No good has ever come from one group of people trying to put themselves above another.
In fact, a lot of good has come from when humanity works together." "But there is the key word: humanity," Mark offered an apologetic smile that Eldon could see was false. "Creatures from your world aren't human. They're something else, and most of them are dangerous to us." Becky gave her head a sad shake.
"Mark, you're making the same mistake many of them do. This is my world. I was born here in the United States. I'm one-hundred percent human. Many of them were also born in this world, but left when humanity became too violent for them to coexist with us millennia ago. And you're wrong again, when you say most of them are dangerous to us.
Most of them are peaceful. Yes, some are dangerous, but then again, the same can be said about humans. Most humans are peaceful, but some of us are dangerous.
Judging all because of a few makes us no better than the racists I mentioned earlier." "Yes, but doesn't humanity have a right to protect itself against those that mean us harm?" Mark pressed. It was obvious to Eldon that the man had his own agenda to push. By the look in Becky's brown eyes, she saw it too. "Every living creature, whether human or magical, has the right to defend itself. They don't, however, have the right to attack someone, or something, because they're different." "Well, I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today," Mark almost cut Becky off.
"I want to thank you for coming on today and giving us your controversial view." "Thank you for having me." The creases at the corners of Becky's lips deepened as she forced a smile.
It was a look Eldon and his sister knew all too well from when she taught them. Growing up, Becky had been their main teacher, instead of attending any sort of official school. She had a huge heart, but had little tolerance for idiots.
She never had any kids of her own, and treated all of Lyden's children as though they were hers. Just before the camera pulled off of her, he saw her pull out a phone. A moment later, Shelly and he received a text. It read, "Hurry and get here. Your father is in trouble." It was from the same number as earlier. It had to be Becky's phone, though it wasn't from the number they had stored for her. Eldon had to catch his balance as the Orange Bubble picked up speed.
He didn't know how far away they were, but doubted it would take long for them to arrive with Lyden Snow in danger. Eldon often wondered if the Orange Bubble loved him as much as Angela did.
"What do you think is going on? What have I missed while I was captured?" Brooke asked. Bridgette and her were looking at Shelly's phone along with Jessica. Eldon Wondered if he stunk, with all of the other woman looking at Shelly's phone. "You smell good to me," Gloria nuzzled against his neck. "In fact, you smell like sex&hellip." She trailed off, then shook her head. "Nevermind. We can fool around later. Let's go save your father." Eldon wondered at her odd statement, but brushed it aside.
If Dad was in trouble, they needed to hurry. Once, Lyden Snow had been a man with powers and abilities all his own. After dying at the end of the Chaos War, he was brought back, but lost all of his powers.
For all intents and purposes, he was human and therefore vulnerable. Shelly talked to Brooke as they rode. None of them really knew what was going on, and despite repeated texts to Becky, she didn't respond. They must not have been far from Washington D.C., because it only took about fifteen minutes before the car stopped. They looked at one another, not sure what to expect when they stepped out. Eldon went first, with his sister on his heels.
The first thing he noticed was the noise. Two large groups of protesters were facing off against each other, shouting their own ideologies.
The group on the left carried signs saying such things as, "Magic is evil," and, "Go home, devils," and, "Suck my blood and you'll suck the end of my shotgun." On the right were opposing protesters with signs that read, "End the hate," and, "Peace before pride," and, "The worlds are big enough to share." Eldon noticed Shlee Olsen standing between them, taping another segment. She noticed them stepping out of the Orange Bubble and signaled her cameraman to quit filming.
They must have looked like a bunch of clowns getting out of the small orange Volkswagen Beatle. Gloria, Brooke, and Jessica came after Shelly. Bridgette had to remain in the fountain, unable to leave. "I'm glad you came," Shlee grinned at Eldon as she walked up to the group. Eldon looked around, figuring she must mean someone else, but the other women were giving him odd looks. When he turned back to face the reporter, her hand was out, waiting to be shaken.
Eldon took it, noting her powerful grip. "I wasn't sure if you were in this world and would get my message, but I had to try. Did you pick up Becky along the way?" She spoke fast, though keeping her voice from carrying too far. Eldon had to focus his hearing to hear her over the protesters.
"We thought Becky sent that message," Shelly said, recovering from the shock of this woman first. "What's going on?" Shlee looked over her shoulders at the protesters, and Eldon noticed that Michael was still among them, glaring at the group. He didn't know if the Paladonic Knight knew who they were, but wouldn't doubt it.
He should have thought to put on a disguise, but it was too late now. "It's not safe out here. Follow me." She turned back to her camera man again, who was giving her an odd look. "Frank, I'm going to interview these people, but not on camera. These are Lyden's kids, and—" "I know her," Frank pointed to Brooke with a wide grin. "Well, I mean everyone knows who Brooke Snow is: supermodel extraordinaire and one of Lyden's wives. Man, that guy is so lucky having so many beautiful women." His eyes were large and star struck as he gazed at Brooke.
"Listen, I want you to know that I agree with the peaceful group. If the Shadow World holds creatures as beautiful as you, then they can't all be bad." "Frank!" Shlee snapped.
"Where's your professionalism?" "It's okay," Brooke said with a small smile and shook his hand. "I'm glad to know there are people like you in this world. But you should know that even beauty can hide evil." "Yes, Ma'am." Frank was almost drooling on himself. Eldon was half certain that if Brooke said the moon was square and made out of silicon, he would agree with her.
"Frank?" Shlee asked, indicating the man should move out of their way. "Frank?" she had to repeat herself before the man blinked and looked away from Brooke. "Oh, right!" he spluttered and looked around.
"I'll, uh, get some shots of the protestors and, uh, whatnot for use later as stock footage. It was really an honor to meet you, Mrs. Snow. An honor!" Shlee pushed him out of the way, and they followed her towards the government building. "Sorry about that. Frank is a nice guy, but he tends to be a bit of a pervert." "A bit?" Gloria chuckled. Eldon remembered that she could read the minds of those around them, and he was tired of being left in the dark. "What's going on?" he asked his girlfriend, mentally requesting her to look into Shlee's mind.
They fell back a bit, letting the other women in front of them. "Not sure," Gloria said. Eldon looked at her, confused, and saw that she looked concerned. "I can't get a read on her. There are too many minds around here that I can't read. I don't like when I get blocked like this." "Like Jessica?" he asked. The woman turned and frowned at him. Too late he remembered she could read minds too. Why was it that the women could read minds, but he was always left wondering?
It wouldn't surprise him to learn that Shelly could as well. There were too many times she seemed to know exactly what he was thinking. It would be just like her to hide something like that from him. He sometimes wondered if all women could read minds, and some of them kept it a secret as a conspiracy against men.
"Would you relax?" Gloria chided him. "There's no conspiracy. No, your sister can't read minds. You wear your thoughts on your pretty face, and that's why she can read you. She cares about you, and knows you pretty well. Not every mind can be read. Some are magically blocked, and some are able to keep their thoughts to themselves." "Magically blocked?
Like the D.O.R.?" he asked, growing worried. The D.O.R. were immune to almost all magic. They were women who were supernaturally gifted, but the gift was somehow blocked in them, and they were raised to believe they were normal humans. From a young age, they were taught to hate anything from the Shadow World, and worse, taught to kill it. Only their highest ranking members knew the truth about what they were. Was Jessica a D.O.R. agent?
He tried to think back, and couldn't remember her performing any magic, besides reading minds. She was a gifted fighter, and knew how to kill ogres.
"If you don't stop that, you're going to give yourself a heart attack." Gloria flicked his ear with one finger, making it sting a little. "She has magic, and has used it on your sister. No, I'm not going to tell you the details, other than she was hurt and Jessica healed her. No, I can't read Jessica's mind. That was in Shelly's." Gloria paused as Eldon realized he was being an idiot, and changed his thoughts around.
"If you keep thinking like that, I'm going to have to pull you into a closet and rip your clothes off. You could give Frank a few lessons in imagination!" Eldon smiled, though her comment about giving Frank a few lessons bothered him a bit.
Not that he expected someone to have clean thoughts about Brooke. She was a beautiful woman with her long red hair and green eyes. Eldon knew she was well over a hundred and sixty, but she looked to be in her late twenties. No, for some reason he felt a bit possessive over her, and considering it was his stepmom, that bothered him. They reached the entryway into the large white government building, and were stopped by security guards.
Shlee showed them something and they were let through. "The press can get in almost anywhere." She grinned at them. Eldon was about to ask what was going on, but Gloria's hand on his arm stopped him. He glanced back at the guards, but they were no help. They travelled down a few hallways and up a flight of stairs, before halting outside an unadorned white door. "Your father is inside," Shlee said in solemn tones that set Eldon's nerves on edge. He was about to demand answers, when she opened the door.
"Lyden!" Brooke squealed and charged into the room. "You're safe!" Eldon heard his father exclaim. The relief in his voice spoke volumes about the love he had for this woman. He heard the same tones whenever he spoke to any of his wives. Eldon felt a pang of jealousy strike him that he couldn't explain. He'd never lusted after any of his stepmoms before, and generally considered his father to be a lucky man to have the love of so many beautiful women.
He shoved the feeling down with a confused vengeance. Gloria's arm slipped around his waist as she rested her head on his shoulder. "I love happy endings," she declared. Shlee sniffed and gave him an odd look. "Don't get happy too quick. I meant what I said about your father being in danger. Everyone get in the room." "Wait a minute," Shelly demanded as Eldon moved to the room.
"How do we know we can trust you? For all we know, you could be the danger." Eldon stopped. For a split second, he mentally chewed his sister out for always being suspicious of every pretty woman. "She's safe," Gloria spoke into his ear, and Eldon nodded. He trusted his girlfriend. "I wouldn't have sent you that text if all I wanted to do was hurt your father," Shlee growled. She literally growled.
"Unless you wanted to off us all together," Shelly argued. Eldon noticed that Jessica was trying to pull her into the room, but his sister could be bullish when she wanted to be. "Fine, stay out here," Shlee snarled, and sniffed again. "Becky should be here soon, so send her in when she arrives." She charged into the room followed by Gloria and Eldon.
"She can be trusted," Lyden called to his daughter. Eldon knew better than to look back at his sister. If she decided to stay stubborn, looking at her would only make her dig her heels in deeper.
The room they entered was large, and there was another woman with them. The woman had long black hair and dark brown skin boasting of Hispanic descent. She had shocking blue eyes. Those eyes regarded them with a level of intelligence that intimidated Eldon. She was tall, almost as tall as their father. "Everyone, this is President Martha Louise," Lyden stated, indicating the woman. Brooke hung on his arm like she was never going to let go.
"President?" Eldon asked. "As in…" "As in President of these United States," she said with pride. Spending so little time on Earth, Eldon rarely paid much attention to politics.
"It's nice to finally meet the twins that have been keeping our citizens safe." She held out her hand and Eldon shook it, noticing her delicate grip. "Safe?" Eldon asked. He was used to dealing with the Pillars, so meeting this president wouldn't have been a big deal, other than it was the last thing he expected to be doing at the moment.
Between Shlee's warnings, and the tension he could feel in the air, the word 'safe' didn't mean much to him. "Ahem," Lyden broke in. "I've been telling President Louise about the ogres you slew a few weeks ago." A few weeks?
Eldon wondered. That was only a week ago by his timeline. Once again, the way time changed between the realms had thrown him off. "Jessica helped us," Eldon pointed to her. He noticed that the woman was white faced and staring at his father. He recalled that her reaction was about the same the last time she'd met him. Eldon couldn't deny that his father could be an imposing figure.
His fame from saving both worlds during the Chaos War, coupled with the stories of him coming back to life, and then all of the hard work he'd put into bringing the two worlds closer together, didn't make him an easy person to approach. Eldon knew he had a big heart though, and wasn't as scary as some of the stories made him out to be. "You have quite the talented children, Ambassador Snow," the President stated with a smile, shaking Shelly's and then Jessica's hands.
Jessica flinched when the woman took her hand, but didn't say anything. "I see they even brought the beautiful Brooke back to us." "They were pretty impressive and made a good team," Brooke agreed. Such praise coming from the woman that had once been a trained assassin said a lot. Gloria elbowed Eldon, making him grunt. "Madame President," he spoke up, "This is Gloria. She's a… uh—" Eldon didn't know how the President of the United States would take meeting a succubus, much less Aphrodite herself.
"I'm a succubus, Madame President," Gloria said with a smile. The president didn't hesitate as she took Gloria's hand, and her smile seemed genuine. "I don't mind saying that I envy you. I haven't been with anyone since my late husband. What must it be like to be so open sexually?" Eldon gasped at Martha's blunt statement.
He was shocked that this woman would ask such a question, but Gloria just laughed. "Sometimes it can be just as frustrating," she said. "It's hard to find a man that can hit all the right spots. Harder still, to find a man that actually knows what he's doing!" She gave Eldon a not-so-chaste kiss, making him blush, but his pants to tighten. They were interrupted by a knock on the door.
Shlee pressed her ear against it, and then nodded. She opened the door and Becky stood there, wide-eyed. "Brooke?" she said first, and then looked around the room. "Lyden? Kids? Oh, thank goodness you're all safe! I got this text message saying—" "We got it too," Shelly said. Eldon was still trying to catch his breath after that kiss.
"I sent that text," Shlee said after glancing outside and closing the door. "After I interviewed some of the protesters, I overheard them talking about a plot to kill the President and Ambassador." Eldon was wondering what his dad was doing in a room, alone with the President.
She was attractive enough for an older woman, but Eldon suspected that his dad didn't sleep with just anyone. If both their lives were in danger, it would be easier to guard them together. Then again, it would also be easier to take them out together. Where was the Secret Service? Shouldn't they be just outside the door?
"How did you get our numbers?" Shelly asked. Apparently she still didn't trust the woman. "I gave them to her," Lyden said. "I know her, and her father owes me a favor." "Who—?" Eldon started to ask who her father was, but another knock on the door interrupted him. "Are you expecting anyone else?" Shlee asked as she pressed her ear to the door. "No," Lyden and the President both stated at once. Everyone exchanged glances, but Shlee waved them back from the door.
"Eldon, grab my neck," Shelly ordered him. He knew what she had in mind, and grabbed the back of her neck. A moment later, she changed forms into a large shield. He handed the shield to Brooke and muttered, "Protect them." Brooke took Lyden's daughter from him. Shelly had changed into a shield big enough to protect three people if they huddled together. The President, Lyden, Brooke, and Becky crowded together.
It wasn't perfect, but it was the best his sister could do. If Brooke still had a weapon, she could fight alongside them, but Eldon suspected she was still recovering from her captivity.
For that matter, he was still pretty sore from his exertions yesterday. Eldon thought back to all the forms he could take, but discarded most of them. The ogre would be big and strong enough to handle most anything, but it was too dumb and dangerous to use around friends. The Merman would be pointless out of water, and most of the rest depended on what the threat would be.
Without knowing that, it was hard to decide. After a moment's more indecision, he changed into the body builder. It wouldn't do him much good if they had guns, but he was strong enough for close combat, and large enough to block some potential damage against Gloria and Jessica standing by his sides.
It was his best bet against regular humans, which was the most likely result, considering who had made the threats. "You're such a gentleman," Gloria whispered, "but it's not likely they can hurt me." He remembered her golden girdle, and the way Poseidon's trident had deflected off it yesterday. Realizing that she could read minds, he wondered if she could sense the threat. "No, their minds are blocked also. It's so damned annoying." For once, he was glad that Jessica didn't try and insult Gloria for reading minds.
Shlee glanced at the room, saw that they were all ready, and opened the door. He suspected she could have kept it shut, and whoever was out there out, but it was better to face the threat than hide from it. Eldon relaxed as he saw a kobold come into the room.
It had to be reinforcements from Angela. Kobolds were part of her security force, just as golems belonged to Gaia. An elf followed after the kobold and Eldon knew they were in trouble. Elves were all but extinct. There was only one full-blooded elf left in either world, and that was a female. Eldon took another look and saw that the kobold was really a man in a mask and body suit. These were imposters.
Good imposters, but not perfect. Only humans would have to pretend. "Death to the President!" one of them shouted in a voice he thought he recognized. It sounded mechanical, as though coming from a speaker.
"Kill the Ambassador!" another screamed as more fake creatures entered the room. They didn't seem to be carrying any weapons, which was good, since Eldon didn't have any either.
A large wolf appeared out of nowhere, and Eldon thought this was a masterful disguise, until it ripped into one of the costumed humans. The man went down screaming, until the beast ripped out the man's throat. The wolf had strawberry blonde fur. He didn't have any more time to think on it, as the man in the kobold costume attacked him, swinging what looked like an authentic claw at his face. Eldon ducked the blow, then brought his fist up and under the man's jaw.
His attacker flew back into those still coming into the room, slowing them for a second. Gloria transformed into a small dragon.
Well, a small dragon in dragon terms. She was easily twice the size of any of their attackers. She bit into the man dressed as an elf and ripped his arm off with her claws.
Jessica dodged an attack from a brutish looking woman that Eldon suspected was supposed to look like a goblin, but the skin color was all wrong. Too many greens and not enough boils. Jessica spun around, delivering a kick to the woman's jaw hard enough to snap her neck. Eldon wished that he could change into a goblin or kobold.
Either would be beneficial in this fight. The werewolf dispatched another guy by first hamstringing him, then tearing half his face off with her teeth. The bodies started to pile up, as more attackers entered the room, only to fall to the defenders. Where was the Secret Service during this attack? Shouldn't they be here protecting the President?
He didn't have much time to think about it, as a scrawny man slashed at him with a knife. It was the first weapon Eldon had seen, and it almost opened him from chest to neck. He stepped back in time, but the guy spun around and his heel connected with Eldon's temple.
The man had some martial arts training and was fast. Eldon stumbled back as the room spun around him. He didn't see the fist coming until it connected with his teeth. Blood filled his mouth, and he reflexively swallowed. Too late, he realized his mistake as he felt himself shrinking down and changing. His vision cleared as the man backed off, watching in horror as Eldon changed into his doppelganger. Blood dripped from his assailant's hand, where he'd cut it on Eldon's teeth. Eldon's hand was fine, but he took a moment to spit one of his teeth out.
The man didn't take long to get over his shock, and came back at Eldon with a vengeance. Eldon saw every move coming before it landed and blocked or dodged them. He waited until he saw an opening, and lashed out, striking the man's wrist as he overextended himself. His knife dropped to the floor, as Eldon stepped into the man's reach, delivered two quick blows to his chest, then jabbed at his throat, crushing his windpipe.
The man fell to the ground, gasping for air but unable to breathe. Since he was no longer a threat, Eldon turned to find someone else, but their attackers were all down. "I didn't want to do this," the same male voice he recognized earlier sounded, "but you leave me no choice." Eldon realized it was coming from many places at once.
He dropped down to examine the man he'd just taken down, then swore and stepped back. "Get away from them!" he yelled as he ran for where Gloria stood. "Get back! Get back!" Attached to the man was a speaker. Below the speaker was a vest wired with explosives. He tackled Gloria to the ground at the same time the world exploded. * * * * "He's not responding," Gloria's voice floated to him out of the darkness.
Something stung his left cheek and he opened his eyes. Gloria leaned over him, worry thick in her eyes. "Oh, thank goodness!" he heard his father say from somewhere nearby. "I thought we lost you!" "Gloria…" he croaked as he reached for her cheek.
"Jessica? Shelly?" He saw Gloria grimace before she answered. "Jessica is seeing to your sister. She took the brunt of the blast, saving those behind her. Shlee is recovering by the fountain, her metabolism is amazing." She shook her head and a tear leaked from one eye. "Why didn't you just drop to the ground? Why did you have to try and protect me?" "I didn't want you to get hurt," Eldon said, confused by the woman's behavior.
"That little blast couldn't have hurt me," she said. "I have an impervious golden girdle. They couldn't hurt me, but you… you—" She choked off and hugged him. Eldon didn't understand why she was making such a fuss over him. He was alive, though he hurt, and it appeared that everyone else was as well, but it sounded like Shelly was hurt also.
He tried to sit up, and only then did he feel the real pain. His whole body hurt. His back felt like hamburger, and he couldn't get his legs to move right. "What—?" He asked, trying to block out the pain and get a look at himself, but Gloria refused to let go.
"Lyden, no!" Brooke stated with a tone that meant business. "Damn it, they're my children!" If his father was swearing, then he had to be upset. If he was that upset, how bad were Shelly and him? "I can help them." "You can't, Lyden. There has to be another way," Brooke argued. "There is," Gloria spoke up. "I will take care of your son, Ambassador Snow." She pulled away enough for Eldon to get a look at himself. At first he looked fine, until he saw his left arm, or what was left of it.
A tourniquet was tied above the stump below his elbow. He realized they were in the Orange Bubble, and his blood was soaking into the carpet from his lacerated backside. His right leg looked wrong, as though it had two knees. It took his mind a moment to realize that it was busted below where his real knee was. He couldn't remember ever being this messed up before. He heard a moan, or a groan from the bed, but couldn't see up there, and suspected that was where his sister was being tended to.
He didn't know how bad her injuries were, and hoped she was okay. "Is he strong enough for that?" Lyden asked. Eldon couldn't remember ever hearing so much fear in his father's voice.
Was he really that hurt? From the agony along his back, he wasn't in good shape. "Go see to the President," Gloria ordered. "She's pretty shaken up after that assassination attempt. You'll want to make sure she's in front of a camera soon, to show she's still alive. I'll take care of your son.
Becky needs you too." Eldon heard something in her voice that refused to be ignored. Lyden and Brooke stood and walked to the front of the car, where Eldon guessed the President sat. They were almost in a zombie-like state as they left. "Now, my foolish savior," Gloria addressed him, "it's time I took care of you, and this time I don't think anyone will be interrupting us." Eldon groaned as she gently picked him up and carried him to the bed. "I don't think we're going to be able to pull these pants off you, past that leg," she stated and produced a pair of scissors out of nowhere.
She proceeded to cut off his clothing. If she thought he was going to be aroused by any of this, she didn't understand the amount of pain he was in. "You're right," she said in soft tones, like a mother taking care of a sick child.
"But I can make you forget about the pain." She gripped his phallus when it came free and looked him in the eyes. "There is no pain. Only the pleasure of my touch. Nothing else matters, but letting me take care of you." As she spoke, her words soaked into Eldon's mind and body, blotting out the pain, replacing it with a satisfying sensation radiating out from where she gripped him. His mind fuzzed, and his whole world focused on the beautiful woman before him.
"That's better, isn't it? You like when I move my hand along your shaft. Mmm, I like the way it feels in my hand. So hard. So strong. I like its shape, almost like a corkscrew. I can't wait to feel this deep inside me again." She leaned in and kissed him, but her hand never stopped its momentum. He felt her other hand slip around his scrotum, gently fondling the sensitive nodes inside. Her tongue licked around his lips, and he opened to her, moaning at the bliss she was imparting to him.
He brought his right hand up and cupped her naked breast.
He couldn't remember when she'd gotten naked, but didn't care as her one hand did a pleasurable motion around the head of his penis. He lost himself in her touch, letting go of who and what he was. All that mattered was her touch, her taste, her smell. She was everything to him, and he was nothing without her. "That's right," Gloria moved her mouth to his ear.
"I know what you like. I know what you want to feel. You like my hand, don't you?" Eldon nodded. "I'll bet you would enjoy my pussy even more. Mmm, I know I want to feel you deep inside of me." She lifted up her pelvis, straddled him, and rubbed the tip of his cock against her sopping wet slit. "Mmm, yeah. It's a good thing I have a magical pussy, or this monster would never fit," she cooed into his ear, and right into his brain. He was under her spell so deep, he couldn't think for himself.
All he knew was her body making him feel good, and her voice saturating his senses. He knew he wanted to thrust himself up into her, but didn't, letting her be in complete control. "Are you ready, Eldon?" The use of his name allowed a small portion of him to wake up, but it was overwhelmed with desire for this sensual woman.
"Mmm, I know I am. Can you feel how wet I am? There's an itch inside me that I think only one thing will scratch. Will you scratch it for me, Eldon?" He nodded, unwilling to let this woman down. He would do anything for her, especially if she continued to feel this divine. She shifted her weight, and he felt her outer folds slip around his head. His rod started to tingle where her juices were soaking into his skin.
He regained enough self-control to remember his hand on her grapefruit sized breast, and used his thumb on her small nipple, making her giggle. The sensation did wonders for where they were connected, and he slid into her a couple centimeters. "Mmm, you like my tiny nipples, don't you, Eldon?" she moaned and slipped around him some more.
"You are quite the talented kisser. Why don't you kiss my nipple?" Eldon latched onto the rubbery nub as she fed it to him, tonguing it and using his teeth to lightly stimulate the sensitive flesh. Every time she used his name, Eldon found himself grounded again within his body. Her spell lightened slightly, but the joy of her body soon swept him away again.
"Mmm, you're getting pretty deep, Eldon. Yes, use your mouth just like that. You really know how to please a woman, don't you? Oh, yes!" Gloria's pelvis pressed against his, as she was fully impaled on him. Eldon could feel her inner muscles contracting around his invading tool, making him moan into her perfect breast. She rocked her hips, using his strange cock to stretch and stir around her insides.
"Oh, Eldon! Mmm, that feels so good.
Yes, just like that. I'm going to cum, Eldon. I'm going to cum all over your fat cock. Do you want me to cum, Eldon? Do you want to feel my cum leaking around your fat meat in my little pussy, Eldon? I feel so stuffed, I don't know if my cum can escape around your fat cock, Eldon." Eldon's mind returned to him more and more. He felt his orgasm approaching and let go of her nipple to look at her beautiful face, contorted in bliss.
He sensed the pain that she was shielding him from, but it felt distant, as though it belonged to someone else. "Cum on my cock," he told her. "Squeeze it with your tiny pussy, and milk my cum out. You're so tight and wet. It's feels like a fire inside you, you feel so good. I'll scratch your itch whenever you want. I want you to cum. Cum on my fat cock." "Mmm, I love fucking your perfect cock," she moaned. "Oh! Yes, yes, yes, YES!" She shuddered and his cock felt like it was being compressed in a vice.
Strength flowed through him, almost washing his mind away again, but he held on, as his climax struck, and he pumped her overflowing cunny full of his impotent seed. Despite her protestations that nothing would be able to leak out, his crotch was soaked in their combined juices. His awareness travelled through his body as he came down from his climax, and he noticed his left hand and right leg tingled.
He looked at his left hand in awe, noting the pink color of the new flesh. As he watched, the hand started to turn purple, and he hurried to undo the tourniquet. "Ah, it looks like Jessica is done with your sister," Gloria said with a satisfied grin. Eldon looked around, confused, and realized that the two were naked and on his right, coming out of a sixty-nine position with Shelly on top.
Her back showed fresh new pink skin, matching the same color as his hand. His cheeks burned as he rolled off the bed, embarrassed to have seen his sister in such a compromising position, and wondering if she'd noticed him and Gloria going at it. He hoped not! Eldon hurried to get dressed with a new set of clothes. It wasn't until he was pulling his shirt over his head that he remembered that there were other people in the car. "That's a nice bone you have between your legs," Shlee grinned at him.
"Maybe one day you'll let me gnaw on it?" She was no longer in her wolf form, and had one of Shelly's robes draped around her shoulders. There was still a feral look in her eyes, and he grew even more uncomfortable when she looked at his crotch and licked her lips.
"Yum." "I'm glad to see you're better, Son," Lyden addressed him from the front seat. "How is your sister?" "I'm good, Dad," she said.
From the tone of her voice, Eldon suspected she was just as embarrassed as he was. "I'm glad to hear it," Lyden stated. Eldon didn't know how the man kept his calm. The situation in the back of the car couldn't be counted as ordinary by any stretch of the imagination, but Lyden acted as though it never even happened.
He'd often felt grateful towards his father, but never more so than at that point. The events in the back of the Orange Bubble were the last thing he wanted to discuss with his father. "He's doing it for you," Gloria whispered into his ear. "He knows how embarrassed you both are, and is choosing to ignore it, rather than make an issue of it and make things worse." "Thank you," he told her, knowing that she would pick up all the meanings he meant with those two words.
He was surprised to see her blush as he projected his emotions to her. "Thank you, in all the same ways." She gave his cheek a peck, then moved to his ear. "Your mind is a lot stronger than most mortals. I wonder if you could handle me completely letting go? I was half afraid you wouldn't return mentally, but I couldn't risk losing you." It was Eldon's turn to blush.
If she had held back with her power, and things felt that great, he would go mad with bliss if she let her powers free. "While you two are flirting, I'm missing the story of the century," Shlee muttered.
Eldon had forgotten that she was a reporter. "Madame President, will you at least let me get an exclusive with you?" "An exclusive?" Martha Louise asked, shocked. "You just saved my life. An exclusive is the least I can offer." "I hate to ask," she continued, looking around at everyone, "but would you please keep my identity a secret?
The station would fire me on the spot if they knew I was a lycanthrope." "Why do it?" Shelly asked. "There are a lot of other things you could be doing." "Because it allows me to keep my ear to the ground," she replied with a wolfish smile.
"I like to picture myself as a female Superman, only, you know… a woman, and instead of flying, I can turn into a vicious beast, but I still have my secret identity." "Just don't try to hide behind a pair of glasses," Eldon smirked.
"You look too much like your other self to get away with it." Shlee's jaw dropped in shock at his teasing, before she grabbed a pillow and chucked it at him. "If you don't stop flirting with her," Gloria chided him quietly, "I'm going to have to take you both in the back and do at least half of the things she was thinking about while we were fucking." It was Eldon's turn to gape, though no one else knew why.
Gloria chuckled until someone's phone rang. "Hello?" Becky answered her cell phone. A second later her face bleached of all color and she looked at Brooke. She didn't say anything for a long moment after hanging up.
When she finally did, they understood her demeanor. "Varun is dead. Someone, or something, tore him to pieces." Despite himself, Eldon looked at Gloria. He noticed Shelly, Brooke, Bridgette, and Jessica looking at her as well. She was the last one to leave Varun's demesne. She was the only one among them that was possibly strong enough to murder the Pillar of Water, and she'd come out of her battle with Poseidon unscathed.
"Oh, hell, this isn't good," Gloria said as she turned a hurt look on Eldon. He wanted to tell her he didn't believe she was guilty. He wanted to pull her into his arms and forget about the battles in Varun's demesne. He couldn't believe she was capable of doing something like that. He wouldn't believe it. Images of her turning into a shark and killing those mermen guards flashed behind his eyes, as well as her as a dragon, killing the assassins.
Finally, he remembered the amount of power she held as she squared off against Poseidon. "I told you, you can't trust a succubus," Jessica sneered. Eldon's heart broke as Gloria fell to her knees, looking guilty as charged.
==================== From the Author ==================== If you're looking for book 1, I have published it, and you can find the links to that from the forum as well. Comments below are ALWAYS welcome. Please let me, or Garbonzo607 know how we're doing on this story.