Story by T.Charters copyright (C) 2017. email@example.com
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, Gods or Demons, living, dead or imaginary is purely coincidental.
Jane groaned and moved beneath the covers. "If this is what a hang over feels like," she said, "I'm glad I don't remember."
Amanda moaned beside her. "Urgh," she muttered. "Did someone spike my drink with fermented-blood again?" She shivered remembering the last time she'd drunk it, or not.
Jane smirked and suddenly tickled Amanda somewhere very private.
Amanda squealed and instantly curled herself into a ball. She giggled girlishly and shook with laughter.
"Do you remember that?" Jane asked while snuggling closer.
Amanda grabbed a pillow then bopped Jane on the head with it. "What about that?" she said playfully.
Pillows and blankets flew in all directions as the light-hearted scuffle escalated out of control.
They both screamed and giggled then chased each other naked around the room.
The guards in the hall outside the door stood as rigid and as implacable as ever.
Luckily this time the pillows managed to keep themselves together and their insides contained, or it could have been the extra strong stitching that the tailors had used to repair them the last time. They'd probably suspected that the previous pillow-fight was unlikely to be the last.
Amanda laid back on the bed and breathed heavily. She sighed. "I'm not going to kill anyone," she said.
Jane laid beside her and pulled a blanket over them both. "And you don't have to," she replied.
Amanda smiled thinly. "Why did they have to leave that thing," she asked. "Couldn't they have just talked to us instead." She hadn't been able to get the vision of the blade out of her mind. It was cold and dark. It had looked evil.
Jane rolled over and kissed Amanda. "The elves are an old race," she explained. "Stubborn and suspicious of outsiders. They still prefer to live isolated from everyone else and refuse to use any modern, non-Fey technology."
"So they're the Amish of the Fey world," Amanda suggested lightly.
Jane shook her head not understanding.
Amanda smiled. "Don't worry," she said. "What you've learned with Pop?" she asked.
Jane nodded. "Some," she replied while looking a little guilty. "Don't tell him but when he's not looking I like to read more interesting stuff."
Amanda smirked. She chuckled.
"I know he only means the best," Jane added sounding rather frustrated, "but politics and courtly intrigue are so boring."
Amanda laughed. "My lips are sealed," she replied.
"But not to me," Jane suggested raising an eyebrow.
"Never to you," Amanda replied.
Jane smiled. She sat up then began to slowly kiss Amanda up and down her neck.
Amanda exhaled as her whole body shivered with pleasure.
Jane laid on top and rested her head on Amanda's chest. She stared into Amanda's eyes. She moved her hand lower.
Amanda's eyes widened and she squealed in delight.
Jane smiled. She started kissing once more, Amanda's neck, breasts and lower still.
"Ok," Amanda repeated, panting, "definitely never sealed. Not to, never anything, not to you!"
Some time later Amanda and Jane walked into the kitchen.
"When did you learn to do that thing you did to me?" Amanda asked a little sheepishly. She blushed just thinking about it.
Jane smiled. "Well, I do have a few years on you," she reminded. To be honest she couldn't remember herself. She couldn't even remember how she'd remembered it.
"What thing?" Pop inquired as he looked up for where he was sitting.
"Oh nothing," Amanda quickly replied changing the subject and blushing even more. "Why do the elves even care what Allegra does," she asked.
"Hmm," Pop said. "They may seem a little aloof," he suggested. "But they care as much about the Fey as anyone else. They don't wish to see us exposed to the human world anymore than you or I. Allegra's actions could very well hurt us all." He smiled and sat back. "You might find this interesting," he added pushing a newspaper across the table. "It seems that the council leader has resigned. The council sighted a lack of fortitude as the reason."
"Fortitude?" Jane inquired frowning.
"Courage," Pop explained.
Amanda smiled thinly. "Wouldn't lack of suggest he had at least some?" she asked a little harshly. It was an uncharacteristic tone for her she knew, but she found hard to express any remorse. The first time she'd met the council leader he had treated her with no respect whatsoever, and then later, when she'd been threatened, he'd run and hid. She didn't expect anyone to protect her but even after the aide had been restrained the council leader still hadn't shown any concern.
Pop smiled. "I suspect that they were being generous," he replied diplomatically. He didn't sound that sorry either.
Jane hugged Amanda. "You good?" she asked. She'd obviously noticed the change in tone.
They sat at the table.
"Where's Mum?" Jane asked.
"Still resting," Pop revealed. "I think she may have over indulged last night," he suggested.
Both Amanda and Jane smirked and silently chuckled. It was nice to learn that the Queen wasn't so different from themselves. It made her seem more real.
Pop closed the paper revealing the headline for the first time.
"Oh seriously!" Amanda immediately exclaimed. She stared in horror. "What is it with them."
Jane laughed out loud and leant against Amanda while hugging her tightly. "I guess I'm going to need a cape as well now," she suggested.
Pop chuckled. He obviously been expecting at least some reaction.
"Princess Ward training magical army," the headline read. "Crown Princess displays same incredible skill!"
Marc quietly chuckled behind them. He immediately coughed and nervously cleared his throat to hide it.
Amanda turned and stared at him. "Really?" she said disappointed. "You too?"
Marshall slowly wheeled his trolly back along the cell block. It was a trip he made twice a day.
Damian stepped up to the bars and stared through. He passed out the mug he'd been given earlier. "How can she be a vampire?" he asked. "How is that even possible?"
Marshall laughed and shook his head. "You really don't know anything, do you?" he said. "It's incredible that The Watch didn't have you killed on the spot. You owe the Princess your life."
"Maybe if you obey the rules and earn the privileges," Marshall added, "you could request a book from the library and learn for yourself." He stopped and smiled. "You can read, can't you?" he asked. "Eternity is going to very boring if you can't."
Amanda flipped Marc over her shoulder then ducked and rolled aside.
He landed heavily on the mat then climbed back to his feet.
"You're getting better," Amanda said.
Marc looked concerned. "Are you really wishing to teach me this?" he asked. "Or are you just frustrated and feel the need to beat someone up?"
Amanda smirked. "A little from column A and a little from column B," she replied.
Marc nodded. "I am sorry I laughed," he repeated.
They sat at the side of the gym and watched the other off duty guards training and practising with one another.
"I never expected any of this," Amanda said. "I would never have sort this life. I never wished to be this thing that everyone looks up to and thinks is going to change the world. When I was younger I just wanted to find someone to love."
"And you have that," Marc suggested, "and the rest of it," he added rather bluntly while shaking his head, "is all just crap!"
Amanda turned and stared. She chuckled. "Maybe you need to tell me that more often," she said.
"If you are truly that frustrated," Marc responded, "then maybe you should go for a run."
Amanda looked up excitedly. "It's finished?" she asked.
"It is," Marc replied.
Marc and the Queen stepped onto the balcony outside her office. Below they could see Amanda jogging around the track which now surrounded the palace. She was occasionally stopping and talking with people on the outside of the fence and happily waving to others. There were also guards patrolling the path and others stationed at the corners.
"How frustrated is she?" the Queen asked. She sounded worried.
"She's fine," Marc replied. "The Princess is just annoyed with the papers for their outlandish headlines as well as the Elves for leaving that blade."
The Queen nodded. "I can understand that," she agreed. "Have we learnt any more about it?" she inquired.
"It has been used before," Marc advised quite seriously. "Recently," he suggested. "We found traces of fresh blood on the blade, and given the variants in blood groups it's clear a vampire was the victim. It's impossible to say who."
"But you have a suspicion, don't you?" the Queen pressed.
"I have," Marc replied.
Meshia, Jane and Jessica joined Amanda outside.
"We thought you'd enjoy some company," Jane suggested. "I found them exploring the palace," she explained.
Amanda smiled. "That'd be nice," she replied. She looked at Jessica and frowned slightly. "I thought the rule was that you were going to spend the weekends at home?" she said.
"Mum returned," Jessica revealed. "I think they wanted some time together," she added while quoting the word in the air.
Amanda nodded understanding. "How is she?" she asked.
"Confused about you and me and everything really," Jessica replied sounding a little worried. "Also she really needs a shave," she added lightly while screwing up her face.
Amanda laughed. "She'll be fine," she said reassuringly. "A lot has happened while she's been away."
Jane was getting a little impatient and idly tapped her foot. "RACE YOU!" she shouted then she ran off down the path.
"Hey no fair!" Jessica called running after her. "That's cheating!"
Meshia remained beside Amanda.
"Not into running?" Amanda asked.
"Yeah, we dwarfs are not really sprinters," Meshia suggested with a smile. "We don't really have the build for it."
They started walking after the others.
"How do you think Jessica will cope at school?" Amanda asked worriedly.
"She'll be fine," Meshia replied brightly. "As your sister she's going to be the most popular person in school."
Amanda frowned. "Don't let that go to her head," she said.
A group of younger people where walking past on the outside of the fence. When they saw Meshia they leapt up to the fence and stared through.
"Meshia!" they yelled.
"What are you doing in there?" one of them asked excitedly.
"Meshia is helping me," Amanda revealed.
It seemed like the group of teenagers had missed seeing Amanda completely.
"Your Highness!" they all said leaping back in surprise.
Both Meshia and Amanda chuckled.
"The Princess' sister is going to be joining us at school next week," Meshia explained. "Her highness has asked me to help," she said proudly.
"Really, cool!" one of the group exclaimed.
"Can we meet her?" asked another.
Jane and Jessica ran up at that moment.
"You know the whole point of a running track," Jane suggested while being overly dramatic, "is to run."
The group of friends all leapt back in surprise once again.
Meshia introduced Jessica to her friends. "So what are you guys up to?" she asked.
"We're just going down town to hang out," one revealed. "Do you and Jessica want to come with us."
"Sure," Meshia said.
Jessica quickly looked at Amanda. "Can I?" she asked hopefully.
Amanda turned to Meshia. "You'll look after her?" she asked.
"Okay," Amanda said. She glanced at a guard nearby. "Go with them," she instructed. "Make sure they both get home."
"At a reasonable time," Jane added in complete disregard to the activities of her own past.
The guard nodded. "Yes, Your Highnesses," he replied. "Ladies," he said to Meshia and Jessica.
They both giggled and laughed.
After Jessica, Meshia and the others had left Amanda and Jane slowly jogged around the track.
"I really didn't expect you to enjoy jogging so much," Amanda said. She did sound surprised.
"Oh, I've got some stamina," Jane quipped in her most sultry voice.
Amanda chuckled. "Yeah, you do," she replied.
Marc met them out the front of the palace after they'd completed another lap. "Your Highnesses," he said seriously. "Something has come up."
They followed him inside then up the grand staircase and into the Queen's study where Pop and the Queen were waiting.
"I hope you don't mind that I asked one of the guards to watch Jessica while she'd still finding her way around," Amanda said.
"Not at all," Marc replied. "I was going to suggest the same," he admitted. "If something was to happen to her, it would be as devastating as if something had happened to yourself."
Amanda nodded. "So what's happened?" she asked.
"The blade," Marc replied. "We found traces of fresh blood on it which could only have come from a vampire."
"You said you had a suspicion who," the Queen pressed.
"I do," Marc replied. "It seemed strange to me," he explained, "that the blade would have fresh blood on it if the Elves were only suggesting that we stop Allegra."
Pop frowned. He looked up and stared. "You mean..." he said darkly.
Marc reluctantly nodded. "Allegra may already be dead," he revealed.
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