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Winds of Change

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Title: Winds of Change (1/?)
Chapter 1
Pairing: Jane/Maura
Rating: T… for now
Disclaimer: I don't own Jane or Maura or their counterparts from the TV show or books…I only wish. I am going to be adding a few of my own characters however.

 

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Chapter One

"She's the one from your visions?" A tall statuesque redhead scanned the many photos spread across the table. "Attractive and strong. She looks like a leader."

A large dark haired man with slight graying at his temples stood at his lovely wife's shoulder both gazing at the various photos of a tall slender brunette with long wavy hair and brown soulful eyes. "She's the one the great spirits have chosen. This woman is destined to become the alpha of all alphas and bring all Lycan kind together and strengthen the whole supernatural world."

"And the pretty blond with her in so many of these photos is her mate?"

"Yes, but for some reason they are both trying to hide their attraction for one another. Both women are strong and intelligent. Jane and her mate, Maura, will become the black wolf and the white wolf of legend. One will become a great leader, warrior, and guardian, the other a great healer and scholar. They will be the dark and light that balance one another. Together they will reign, uniting all Lycan tribes. They will also be highly influential and powerful in guiding and protecting all of the supernatural world in the future."

The man picked up a photo of the two women sitting together on a park bench smiling as they leaned together watching a small dog at their feet. "It will not be an easy road ahead for either of them."

"We will help them Marcus. It is a great honor the spirits have tasked us with. We have been selected to assist in the turning and preparing of their chosen. Our world has been waiting thousands of years for this time to come. We will do our best to prepare and support Jane and Maura."

"They will need it, Evie. Their world as they know it is about to shatter apart and be remade around them."

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Jane awoke spooning up behind a warm soft body, inhaling the sweet smell that she would always recognize as Maura. She loved the sweet private moments when she could let herself indulge in her strong feelings for her best friend. She came to close to losing her the previous day. Seeing Hoyt with his hands on Maura was a nightmare, come to life. Her grip tightened around her friend as memories of the previous day flooded her mind. The detective would never regret ending Hoyt. Jane only wished she would have done so sooner before he managed to get his hands on Maura.

Stirrings from the fair haired woman in her arms had Jane loosening her hold. "Mmm. I feel so safe when I'm in your arms." Maura murmured sleepily. "Thank you for asking me to stay after the party last night. I didn't want to be alone."

"I will always do everything in my power to keep you safe Maura." Jane laid her chin on the blonde's shoulder and took a scary step. "I have always felt safe in your arms as well. It's like coming home." The taller woman placed a gentle kiss on the smooth as silk skin on the neck of the one who unknowingly owned her heart, body, and soul.

Maura tightened her hold on the arms wrapped around her, and pressed further into Jane's strong body. Her own body breaking out in goose bumps as delighted tingles ran up and down her spine at Jane's words and actions. The doctor had hoped and even found herself praying that Jane could return the love she felt for the dark haired detective. The blonde lifted one scarred hand to her lips, kissing the rough palm, something only she would ever be allowed to do. "I've been thinking…"

"Always dangerous."

"Jane seriously. I've been thinking about this since we were receiving treatment for our injuries. We both have at least two weeks of vacation time due us. I believe now would be a perfect time to take our allotted time. My grandfather left me a cabin on the edge of a private lake in Virginia. We could go there and get away from everything for a while. We could even bring Bass and Jo Friday with us." The smaller woman’s voice hopeful as she prayed her companion would agree.

"That does sound nice. No nagging Ma, no homicides, and no press bugging us for interviews about what happened for a couple of weeks. Only peace, quiet, and us. I'm up for it. I think we deserve and need sometime away." Jane’s voice carrying an eagerness that matched that of the woman in her arms.

"I think we both need some time to realize that the nightmare that was Hoyt is over." Maura turned in Jane's arms. "We also could use the time to explore the more that we both know is between us."

The women became lost in one another's eyes, each searching for any sign that their feelings were returned. Both smiling wide when they found the answer they were looking and hoping for.

"I think that sounds like a fantastic idea." Jane breathed.

Jane and Maura leaned toward one another unable to hold themselves apart any longer finally sharing a soft chaste kiss that nonetheless rocked them both to the core.

 

I hope you enjoy. Until next time.

 

Chapter Text

Title: Winds of Change

Pairing: Jane/Maura

Rating: T… for now

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Chapter 2

"They should be here within the hour. We have to take the couple quickly before they enter the house. Two weeks isn't much time to get them acclimated however, that is all we have to work with at the moment. We may be able to stretch it out longer, but that is not a certainty." Evie told the mixed group of ten men and women gathered around her. They were all well trained individuals that worked for Wolfe Security and Investigation. The entire group were also all members of the same pack.

Marcus, their boss and alpha, nodded in agreement. "We cannot let Jane sense us coming. We don't want to hurt or traumatize either woman any more than necessary. Use the tranqs and get them both into the house as soon as possible. Everything will be explained to the pair when they awaken. Everyone knows where they're supposed to be and what they are supposed to do. Now move out and wait for my signal."

The men and women hurried off to stand guard at their posts until the time came for them to act.

"You know Jane's not going to be easy to convince. From all we have found out about her, she is very stubborn and doesn't like change or surprises much. Maura is also stubborn and will turn to science to explain all of this. She will most likely have a hard time accepting the magical and spiritual aspects of this whole situation. From the way she dresses it's a good thing she is to become the most glamorous of wolves, the snowy white. I would hate to see her dressing in designer dog outfits to try and shine among all the other gray wolves. Her white coat alone should do it for her, I hope. She and Jane will look magnificent together. They make a beautiful pairing in human form, which will carry over to their wolves nicely." Evie leaned closer to her mate as they settled down to wait.

Marcus wrapped his arm around his wife's shoulder. "Our scouts mentioned that they had seen the two women holding hands and exchanging a few gentle and seemingly loving kisses. This trip might be about more than the two of them simply getting away for some R and R. They may have finally decided to take their relationship to the next level."

"I hope so. It will only make it easier for them in the long run. When their wolves scent each other they will be driven to claim one another and their inner most feelings they have for one another will be revealed when they bond. I'm glad they will have their mate by their side while going through this transition. It will help ease the strain and they will learn to work together, though from all our research they already do that well. I believe our biggest hurdle will be them accepting the fact they are werewolves and the future leaders of all Lycan kind and prominent figures within the entire supernatural realm."

"I agree. I have a feeling they both are going to be naturals when it comes to their duties and neither will need much training as most would. I am only glad that the internal power of the alpha will not wake in them for at least a week I hope, gives us time to get the pair used to who they will be somewhat, before they have the power to make our wolves bow to them." Marcus kissed Evie.

"On that I concur. I wonder how long it will be before they are able to do that to us as well, my mate."

Marcus sighed wondering the same.

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Jane paused as the "cabin" came into view across the large private lake. The freakin' place was gorgeous and huge. There were several large windows across the back of the house that over looked the lake. A large deck that extended out beyond the covered porch ran across the rear of the large log home. A stone walk way led from the house to a dock with a boathouse nearby. This was Maura's little cabin in the woods? This was a freakin' resort in the woods. "Your grandfather must have really loved you."

Maura laughed. "Yes, we were pretty close. He seemed to see me beyond the independent, genius little girl who had a hard time relating to people. He took time with me, drew me out of my books, and would have me explore the lake and property with him. He was a very smart man and I learned a lot from him. I miss him greatly. My grandfather passed away when I was ten years old. I always feel close to him when I come here. He would have really like you. He hated snooty rich people too." The doc smiled and squeezed Jane's hand.

"Sounds like my kinda guy." The taller woman lifted Maura's hand to her lips kissing her love’s knuckles. "I am glad you had someone like him in your life even if it was only for a short time. Your grandfather sounds like a really special man."

Maura could only smile. Her emotions were too close to the surface for her to speak at that moment. Jane touched her in ways that no one ever had and deeper than she ever thought possible. Her grandfather would have definitely approved of her Jane.

They drove on around the lake to the front of the house. The covered porch was deep and wrapped around the house. There was a bench swing and rocking chairs arranged on the porch. It was all very cozy and inviting. "This place is beautiful, baby."

Maura loved it when endearments slipped from Jane like that; she doubted Jane even realized she was doing it. "Thank you. I had the caretakers open it up and freshen everything and fully stock the place. They have instructions to only come by if we call them, so we shouldn't be disturbed unannounced."

Jane and Maura both happily climbed out of the SUV each feeling the sting of an insect bite on their backs shortly before everything started to go black and Jo Friday began barking in his pet carrier in the backseat of the vehicle. The couple had decided leave Bass to be looked after by Angela.

Neither woman hit the ground. Both were immediately scooped up, their unconscious bodies carried with great care into the log home and up to the master suite.

 

Thanks for reading. Until Next Time...Holly

 

Chapter Text

Title: Winds of Change

Pairing: Jane/Maura

Rating: PG… for now

Chapter 3

Jane slowly opened her eyes confused at her current position. The last she remembered she and Maura were climbing out of the SUV. "Where the hell am I and how the hell did I get here?" the detective thought. Glancing around the dim room as her eyes adjusted Jane was happy to find Maura lying next to her. Feeling Maura's hand touching her own the lanky woman took hold of it with a firm grip, although said grip felt rather weaker than usual. The grip was not returned, however Jane was reassured by the sound of the other woman breathing.

The cop refocused on her surroundings, they were most definitely not in Maura's cabin. It looked like they were lying in some sort of palace straight out of ancient Greece or maybe Egypt. Lots of light colored columns, statues, engravings on some of the columns and walls, paintings covering the ceilings. They both lay on a beautiful bed draped with gossamer fabrics even softer than the expensive sheets Jane had slept on at Maura's. It really was a beautiful place.

The hand Jane held tightened, the breathing pattern changed. "Maura are you okay?" There was no answer at first. "Maura?" Jane attempted to sit up, however she only managed to prop herself up enough to see her friend's face.

Maura was busy attempting to gather her own bearings, glad to feel and hear Jane beside her. "I am relatively okay." She looked around the room. "The architecture of this room is rather amazing. I believe dating back even further than the known architecture of ancient Greece and Egypt I have seen and read about. The craftsmanship and artistry are amazing. I would love to get my hands on several bolts of the fabrics in this room; the quality and texture are truly extraordinary."

Jane rolled her eyes at the wonder in Maura's voice. "Really, Maura? We wake up in a strange place with no idea how we got here and you focus on fabric."

"Sorry, but I am a little unnerved and focusing on those things helps me cope. I have no idea where we are or how we arrived here. I do however find myself comforted by the fact you are here with me. I always feel safer when you are around." The doc squeezed the hand holding hers and turned her head to look up at the beautiful dark haired woman propped up beside her.

Her dark haired friend smiled. "As I said before, I will always do my best to keep you safe." Maura returned the smile as those words touched her heart.

"Ah! It is good to see you both awake. We have much to tell you and not a great deal of time to do so." Both women's gazes flew to the two figures now standing at the end of the bed. Neither woman had heard or seen anyone enter.

"Who are you people? Where are we? What do you want with us?" Jane's hand instinctively went to her hip for a gun that was not there.

"We have been known by many names. The ones who hold you call us the great spirits. You may call me Fenrir and my companion here has been rather partial to Vivienne lately." The voice was warm, strong, and soothing. The voice belonged to a handsome man with beautiful features, a strong body, and light golden hair that touched his shoulders. He wore a golden armored chest plate and some sort of white robe like clothing.

The woman next to him was dressed similarly. She was equally as easy on the eyes and her hair appeared to be a near perfect match to the male's, only longer. They were both beautiful, but rather androgynous.

Jane was sure Maura with her computer brain was cataloging all their facial structures and musculatures, finding both of them appealing specimens of the human form.

"You are in a place some have called Mt. Olympus or Valhalla or Heaven. We usually call it home." Vivienne's soft melodic voice flowed over them, leaving behind warmth and comfort.

'What the hell were they dead?' Jane's mind raced. 'Or were these people a couple of whack jobs.'

"You both are here to receive the gift and responsibility we have chosen you for. Something about each of you drew our interest from the moment you were in your mother's wombs. We have watched you over the years growing more certain as time passed that you were indeed the ones we had been waiting for." Fenrir looked upon them with fondness. "Neither of you remember, but you two had met before you started working together at the BPD."

The reclining women's brows both furrowed, not remembering when they may have previously met.

Vivienne's voice flowed over them again. "You two met when you were children. Maura was with her favorite grandfather and Jane was on a class trip. You met and unbeknownst to either of you or those around you, you imprinted or bonded to one another, sealing your fates as one. You have both came within inches and moments of each other at different times throughout your lives, but were not reunited until the fates felt the time was right."

"I don't remember meeting Maura as a kid and what is all this bull about imprinting, fates, gifts, and responsibility? I'm leaning towards the conclusion that you two are not playing with a full deck. You both need to take your medication."

"Why would they play cards without a full deck and they are not currently playing cards? However if you two are not on medication for any mental disorders you should look into it. Doctors have been working wonders with the right medications and therapies. You could live very normal lives." Maura paused when she felt Jane squeeze her hand. "I also don't remember meeting Jane."

"You consciously didn't remember one another, but subconsciously you do remember each other. Your souls and hearts remembered. Watch!" Fenrir ordered as he waved his hand. A thick cloud formed over the bed and images began playing within it.

Jane and Maura clung together for comfort and support as the world around them seemed to be going haywire as they watched the cloudy show.

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"Pappa thank you for bringing me here today. I really wanted to see the mummification exhibit before it moved on to the Natural History Museum in Chicago. I am having a wonderful time."

"I am glad Maura, dear. I'm always fascinated with the way your mind works and I never fail to learn something when I am with you." The grandfather smiled down at the sandy haired little girl dressed impeccably in the latest high fashion.

Maura smiled as her grandfather got caught up in reading about the ancient Egyptian burial chambers and slipped away across the room to the display of tools used in the mummification process. She was so fascinated that she didn't see the group of the three boys as they came into the room and made a bee line for her.

"Hey little miss goody two shoes, don't got any friends to run around with. You to stuck up to hang out with the little people." The teasing boy said in a strong Boston accent as he bumped her shoulder.

Maura glanced over at her grandfather who was currently chatting with a woman who looked like a teacher and had a few other children with her. Her grandfather didn't see the trouble she was having, but a tall slightly plump girl with long dark hair and a pretty face did, she headed over.

Maura looked back at the boys. "I am here with my grandfather."

"What he didn' wanna hang wit ya either?" The same mouthy boy teased as the others laughed.

The dark haired girl stepped up next to Maura. "Leave her alone, she didn't do nothing to you. Get back to teach." She spoke in a deep voice.

"What, has Rollie Pollie Rizzoli finally made a friend?"

"I got plenty of friends Joey. You and your butthead pals just aren't among them."

"Oooh. Talking big in front of your fancy friend."

The girl stepped right up in the boy's face and forced him to look up at her. "Step off little man. We both know I can kick you and your little pals' asses. I proved it last week after school. That black eye looks good now, almost all gone. I can give you another now if you want." She gave him her meanest look and clenched her fists at her sides.

Joey stepped back, but had to leave a parting shot as he and his friends ran away. "Rollie Pollie Rizzoli's gotta girlfriend."

The tall girl growled before taking a deep breath and turning to the girl next to her. "You okay?"

"Yes. Thank you for running them off. Do they go to school with you?"

"No problem and yeah they do go to my school. They're just a bunch of pricks." The taller girl stuck out her hand. "My friends and family call me Janie. What's your name?"

The smaller girl shook Janie's hand. "I'm Maura."

"Nice to meet ya, Maura. Pretty cool exhibit huh?" The two girls continued to chat as they wandered around the exhibit hall.

What the two girls didn't know was that Maura's grandfather and Janie's teacher had caught the whole encounter. "That's Janie Rizzoli, she doesn't like bullies and she always watches out for the little guy. Your granddaughter is in good hands." The teacher said.

The grandfather watched the two girls. He was amazed at how well they were getting on. His little Maura didn't usually relate well to people. "They seem to be getting along well. If you don't mind I think we will follow along with your class so the two can continue on together. It seems like Janie gets picked on as well. Those boys weren't very nice to her."

"I think it would be fine for those two to continue on together and yes Janie does get picked on as well, but she stands up for herself. A lot of the kids are intimidated by her. She is taller than most of the kids in her grade and as good as if not better than the boys when it comes to sports. She is also tops in her class and at least a year younger than everyone in her class because she skipped a grade in order to help challenge her more academically. She is very intelligent, but refuses to take any IQ tests. Janie says she doesn't need them to know she has more than an empty lump resting on her shoulders."

The grandfather and teacher both laughed as they continued to chat and walk along with the other children. Maura and Janie spent the rest of the afternoon together and had exchanged phone numbers hoping to get together again sometime, but only weeks after the girls met Maura's grandfather died and Maura left for boarding school in France. The phone numbers were lost in time as were the memories of that day, as life went on for the two girls who unknowingly had bonded to each other.

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The cloud faded as Jane and Maura lay shocked as the memories of that day came flooding back.

"I remember that day. It was the most fun I had ever had at a museum. I tried calling a few times, but I was always told you were busy and couldn't talk. You never called back so I stopped trying." Jane shrugged. "I really liked your granddad. He was pretty cool, and I could tell how much he cared about you."

"I remember the day too! I had never been able to really relax and be myself with anyone except my grandfather until that day. After my grandfather died, I wasn't able to be that relaxed again until I met the infamous Detective Jane Rizzoli years later over a corpse at a crime scene." Maura squeezed Jane's hand. "My grandfather liked you as well. He told me that he thought you and I could be lifelong friends. He said he just had a good feeling about us."

Jane returned the hand squeeze. "I guess he had a good gut." She teased.

Maura chuckled along with Jane before they both sobered as their current circumstances intruded on their memories.

 

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed. Until Next Time...Holly

 

Chapter Text

"So we met and got along as kids. Why have you guys been watching us since we were little? What do you want from us and why are we here? I admit you can do some interesting things with the cloud movie stuff, but I still don't know if I believe the whole god and goddess thing. I mean Mt. Olympus, really?" Jane forced herself up a little further into a sitting position.

"We truly are beings of myth and legend." Vivienne waved her hand and the room around them disappeared, it seemed as if the bed they were laying on was flying through the heavens and Fenrir and Vivienne were floating along with them.

"Have either of you heard of what many call lycanthrope?" Fenrir asked as they soared.

"Lycanthrope is commonly the name given to those who, it is believed, can turn into animals such as werewolves and werecats. Some lore says these abilities are a witches curse and some say it is a natural born gift. Some lore also says lycanthrope is transferred by the saliva in the bites of such beings when they are in animal form." Maura shrugged her shoulders when Jane stared at her with that look Maura easily interpreted as 'Really?'. "I read a lot of things about the preternatural when we were working on that witch case a few months ago."

"Those are commonly held beliefs, yes. The truth of the matter is that lycanthrope is the ability to become animal and also to use some of their skills while in human form. Witches can curse people to become an animal full time or with the moon, but it is a difficult spell and you must bind the human with the life essence and skin of the animal as it is being sacrificed. It truly is a curse and the person usually never learns to control their impulses and goes insane. The true lycanthropes are born with great gifts and abilities. These gifts and abilities originated from the gods, starting with the first of Lycan kind many, many centuries ago." Fenrir floated over to lean across the end of the bed. "It all started with the first pair, a completely raven black wolf and a snowy white wolf. They were given the power to help chose those who would be given the gifts of other animals. Lycans are not only wolves, but other animals as well, mostly predatory animals. Wolves are the most powerful of the Lycans. There are leaders of each species of Lycan, but there have not been leaders over all of Lycan kind since the first pair blessed by the gods."

Vivienne also settled onto the bed. "It is time again for the leader gifted by the gods to step forward once more, the alpha of all alphas. The time has come for the black wolf of legend to rule with their snowy white lifemate alongside."

"I am really having a hard time believing all of this, but if what you are saying is true I still don't see what all of this has to do with me and Maura." Jane said though she was getting a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"You Jane have been found worthy to carry out the tasks of the raven wolf. You are a great warrior and leader. You are highly intelligent, have a very strong will, and a strong heart. You are equal to the task that has been bestowed upon you." Fenrir shifted his gaze. "You Maura have been found worthy to carry out the tasks of the snowy wolf. You too are highly intelligent, strong willed, and compassionate. You are a healer. You are also the perfect match for Jane. You two are mates. Jane will need you to be her support and to stand with her as you do now. Each of you is a powerful woman in your own rights, but together you are unstoppable. That will only be more so as you grow into the gifts bestowed upon you."

Both women sat in stunned disbelief. "There is no scientific proof that humans can really turn into animals. This could all be some elaborate dream or something. I could be dreaming all of this. I most likely am." Maura tried to sound more confident than she felt; the entire situation seemed too real.

Jane nodded her agreement. "Even if this was all real, we could refuse to accept these gifts or blessings. You are expecting a great deal. These gifts carry very heavy weight and responsibilities. They would throw us into a world completely unknown to us. I can't speak for Maura, but I am not keen on accepting."

"I feel much the same as Jane."

Fenrir and Vivienne smiled compassionately at the pair before them. "You are the ones. We and the other gods and goddesses are not asking. We are informing. You were both blessed before you awakened here. The changes are already happening within your bodies. The form you have here with us is more of a spirit form. Your physical bodies are currently asleep in the master bedroom of Maura's cabin. The sign of your blessings can be found on each of your inner hips. Jane's on her right hip, Maura's her left. When you face one another they will touch." Fenrir nodded for them to look.

Maura and Jane both gasped as they saw the signs. Jane had a black wolf that appeared to be leaping from her hip ready to fight. Maura had a white wolf with bright greens sitting regally on its haunches. It appeared to be watching everything and was ready to follow wherever the black wolf led.

"Currently there are ten Lycan wolves at your home. Do not be upset with them when you wake up. They are there to watch over and protect you both while your bodies rest and adjust. They are also there to help you train and become familiar with your gifts and abilities. Marcus is the Alpha leader of the local pack as well as the Alpha leader of all the wolves in North America. His mate Evie rules with him. They also help run Wolfe Security and Investigations, an international firm with connections all over the world. The corporation employees are almost all preternatural or those who know of the otherworldly. These wolves are your pack, all Lycan species are your pack now. They are yours to protect and rule. You protect them, but you also keep them in line. Trust us, they will test you. They will want proof you are strong enough. Most will accept you by the simple fact that you are both heavenly blessed, but as you both know there are always those that must see to believe." Vivienne waved her hand again and the bed disappeared. They were all now floating in the air above the bed in the master suite of the cabin where Jane and Maura's physical bodies were laying.

"Okay, this is just freaking weird." Jane gaped.

Maura clung to Jane. "I can't even fall back on science here. I can't come up with anything in reference to this."

Fenrir and Vivienne chuckled. "The magical and mystical are often unexplainable. They just are. You will get used to it." Vivienne reassured before leaning forward and hugging both women. Jane and Maura both felt themselves calming as her arms wrapped around them. "It has been an honor meeting each of you in person. I have great faith in you both."

Fenrir shook their hands. "This is where we leave you. Marcus and Evie will help you out, but follow your own instincts. Trust in yourselves, all of yourselves, human and wolf. Your purpose and full roles will become clear in the future. Don't worry about what that future will bring. Learn about whom you are now and enjoy each other." He winked before he and Vivienne began to fade away and Jane and Maura began to fall into their bodies on the bed.

 

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I know a lot of history in this Chapter but the story will be picking up soon. It is a little challenging building a world on top of such a known world but I am enjoying it. I hope you stick with me and please let me know how I am doing.

Chapter Text

Jane and Maura awakened together, both sitting up in bed as they deeply breathed air into their lungs like they were coming up from deep beneath water.

"Oh my god, please tell me that was some drug induced dream." Jane locked eyes with Maura.

"Did your dream involve Fenrir and Vivienne and flying on a bed?"

Jane nodded. "Yeah, the whole ‘Bed knobs and Broomsticks’ thing."

Maura looked at her blankly for a moment. Jane simply shook her head; she was going to have to widen her best friend's television viewing. "I think it might have been real, because it is highly unlikely we would have the same dream, much less one so distanced from reality."

"I was afraid you were going to say something like that." Jane pulled the waist of her pants down a bit, and looked to see if the black wolf was still on her hip like it was in her 'dream'. "Oh, god." It was very much still there and looked just as life like as it had before.

"Mine is still there to. It had to be real or else we are still dreaming. Owe!" The fair-haired woman grabbed her arm. "Why did you pinch me?"

Jane grinned at the other woman’s glare. "I was just checking to see if we are really awake this time or not." She rubbed her head. "Between you feeling that pinch and the druggy headache I have, I would assume that’s the case. I for one am not going to believe any of this lycanthrope turning into wolf bullshit until I see it for myself."

"Language, Jane. However, I agree with you. I am going to have to see the transformation for myself before I believe."

Gentle knocking came from the door to the bedroom. "Lady Rizzoli, Lady Isles. I am Evie, alpha female of the local wolf pack. We know you are awake. May my husband and I come in? You have nothing to fear from us."

"I'm Marcus, Alpha leader of the local pack and Evie's husband. If it will make you feel better Lady Rizzoli, your gun is loaded and in the side table drawer on your side of the bed." Both people, or werewolves, had strong voices, but neither held tones of menace.

Jane retrieved her gun, feeling more grounded holding the solid weight in her hand. She shared a look with Maura. Her partner nodded her agreement. "You may come in, but keep your hands were I can see them."

The door slowly opened to reveal a tall dark haired man and statuesque redheaded woman. They did not enter the room right away. The local alpha couple observed the women on the bed as closely as they themselves were being watched. The pair cautiously entered keeping their hands at their sides and in plain sight. "We are glad to see you are awake. I'm sorry for the way you were treated upon your arrival, but it was the only way to retrieve you without causing you or ourselves great harm." Marcus said. "The great spirits have shown me that my mate and I are no longer tasked with transforming you. You have been granted the greatest of gifts, to be converted by the spirits themselves. It is also less painful than being bitten by us."

"You were going to bite us?" Maura gasped.

Jane shifted her gun slightly. "That Fenrir guy said people couldn't be turned from a Lycan bite."

"Most of the time that is true, but there is usually only one exception to that rule. If you have the blood of the lycanthrope already in your bloodline, but not enough for you to transform, you can be bitten and converted without much difficulty. You two however, have been chosen by the high spirits. They gifted you themselves directly." Evie explained.

"Well, I’m glad to hear we aren't going to be bitten. I'm still not too believing in all of this however. Can you provide real proof that people can really turn into wolves, or animals, or whatever? This whole thing is out there, I mean really out there, way beyond any reality I have ever known or heard of." Jane swung her legs over the side of the bed sitting up fully. She felt uncomfortable lying down speaking with the large strangers.

"We would very much like to see proof. I have never come across any scientific evidence that this can actually be done, and until I see it, I find I am unable to fully believe all that we have been told." Maura slid across the bed and sat up beside Jane, instinctively sliding to the side that kept Jane between her and the strangers knowing that is where the other woman would prefer her to be.

Evie nodded. "That is understandable. If you would like to meet us outside on the back porch, we will have a few members of our pack transform for you. We’ll leave you now to freshen up. We put your bags in the corner there." She motioned to the corner near the bathroom.

Jane stood. "Thanks. We'll be there." The Lycans bowed their heads slightly before leaving, closing the door behind them.

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Maura stood up beside Jane. "I really need a hug, do you mind?"

"I would hold you all the time if I could sweetheart." Jane closed the distance between them wrapping her arms around the woman she loved. "We are going to make it through whatever all of this is. We will do it together."

They stood holding each other close for long moments before Maura leaned back looking up at the taller woman. "We better get freshened up, and head downstairs. I don't know about you, but I am eager to see if any of this is real. This whole situation has thrown me. There is no science or verifiable research for me to fall back on here. Jane, you know I don't believe in religious faiths or in magic, but all of this is awash with gods and goddesses and magic. The foundations of everything I have known is quaking and crumbling."

"We’ll make it through all of this. I grew up with faith being a big part of my life, but the foundations of my beliefs are rattling apart as well. I don't think there is any way we could have ever been prepared for something like this. I mean this is all straight out of some urban fantasy novel. I expect to see sparkly vampires coming out of the woodwork next."

"Sparkly vampires?"

Jane's dimples appeared at Maura's questioning look. "Twilight, popular book series and movies, never mind." She kissed Maura lightly before stepping back. "Let's get ready."

It didn't take long for them to freshen up and change. Both women chose jeans, but Jane chose a BPD t-shirt and sneakers. Maura wore a pretty blouse and expensive sandals with a low heal. Even while relaxed she still looked like a model to Jane. Maura found Jane equally attractive, a natural beauty that looked like a model without even trying. Their fingers twined together as they walked hand in hand down the stairs, out the French doors, and across the yard, arriving near the lake where a group of ten men and women had gathered.

 

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Well the action picks up a bit after this. I hope you enjoyed. Would love to hear from you. Anything but flames welcome. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

Jane and Maura both felt the difference when they stepped outside, it was as if the fresh air around them was awakening something inside their bodies and their very souls. Their skin felt like it was humming with electrical vibrations.

Jane used her free hand to rub up and down her arm. "Do you feel that? It's like my skin is vibrating or something. I can't really explain it, but it's weird."

"I do feel it. It is as if a slight electrical hum is passing through me, just below the surface of the epidermal layer." Maura was also rubbing her arm. "What do you think it means?"

"I don't know, but I’m sure we will be finding out soon enough."

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Marcus and Evie watched as Jane and Maura stepped out of the large log home. "They are feeling the outdoors. Nature is calling to them already. I didn't think the changes would be happening within them so rapidly." Evie observed as both women were rubbing their arms and chatting quietly to each other as they approached.

"I am sure that being gifted by the heavens takes a hold of you much faster than being born with the gift or having a bite awaken your latent abilities. They are also both very powerful or at least going to be. I worry how Manuel, Carlita, and Kendar are going to react to them. The rest of our group will accept them because we do and because of Jane and Maura’s standing as the spirit chosen. However, those three will have to test them just as those three did us. They will only accept dominance if it is proven." Marcus glanced at three of his top enforcers. They were all three large and heavily muscled and were experts at using their size and strength to their advantage.

"We will watch the situation, however we can't step in unless Jane and Maura really need us to. Give them a chance to see what they can do first. We don't want to start out by undermining Jane and Maura’s authority." Evie said.

"Agreed." Marcus nodded.

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Jane and Maura felt their bodies and senses coming alive in varying ways and degrees with each passing moment. It was unlike anything they had never felt before. The sensations only intensified the closer they traveled to the group waiting for them near the lake.

Jane felt a dominate power growing inside her. The sensation felt aggressive and protective at the same time, the feelings made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. It felt like something was prowling around inside her. She shook herself trying to calm this new consciousness. She squeezed Maura's hand harder, their connection helping her to stay grounded and not get lost in what was happening within her.

Maura also felt the prowling inside, an instinctual need to protect, but also to calm Jane. She could sense what was happening to her love and instantly without thought sent soothing warmth to Jane when she felt the hand tightening around her own. The doctor wasn't sure how she did it, but smiled when she felt the tight grip on her hand ease. The always strong connection Maura and Jane had constantly felt was growing by leaps and bounds in strength and intensity.

"I hope we didn't keep you waiting long." Maura said as they reached the group. Maura spoke first, but somehow knew it would be a bad idea to step in front of Jane or offer her hand before Jane did.

"No actually you arrived before we thought you might." Evie smiled, but she too stayed at her mate’s shoulder and did not step beyond Marcus.

Jane came to a halt a few feet from Marcus keeping her head up and shoulders back. Whatever was prowling around inside of Jane would not let her show any signs of being lesser than those around her. It was really nothing new for Jane, she did the same at work all the time.

Marcus nodded first, he had no desire to challenge Jane. He knew exactly who the strong woman was. Jane was his Alpha, she was every Lycans alpha. "Two of my pack have volunteered to shift for you, and offer the proof you both need of the ability to change forms from humans into wolves."

Jane nodded in return, but kept her head and eyes up, not relaxing her posture in the least. "We are eager to see the shift."

"Ashley, Warren." Was all Marcus said and two of his people stepped into the middle of the group, as the rest formed a circle around them. Warren was a tall well-built blonde haired blue eyed man, and Ashley was equally well built, though several inches shorter than Warren, she was still fairly tall for a female. She had hazel eyes and close cropped light brown hair. The pair quickly stripped out of their clothes, two other members of the group taking the clothing, and setting them neatly aside.

Jane forced herself not to focus on their nudity, she didn't want to be blushing in front of these people. Whatever was crouched inside her helped, it didn't react at all to the fact that the man and woman didn't have any clothes on.

Maura simply looked at them as a doctor and scientist, observing that they were both fine specimens, but other than that not moved by them in any way. For her, Jane was the only one who could do that.

Marcus nodded to the naked pair. "Proceed."

It happened differently than what you see in most movies that portray shifting with a slow progress of watching them morph before your eyes. In actuality it was much different. The air around them seemed to shimmer with energy for a few moments before the energy burst forth and two grey wolves were standing where the two people had been moments before. Ashley had transformed only moments ahead of Warren. Warren was slightly larger than Ashley, but both were bigger than your average wolf.

Jane and Maura stood in stunned silence. Even seeing was hard to believe. However, they had both been able to feel the pair change. They both knew that it wasn't a trick. The two large wolves before them were really Ashley and Warren.

"They are beautiful and that was incredible. It happened so fast. I thought it would take longer and be more painful. I only heard a small groan from them." Maura stared, fascinated.

"That was pretty amazing and not at all like I have ever seen it portrayed. They also become full wolf. I was wondering if that would happen, or if it would be more wolfman. Are there any restrictions with changing back or can they do that at any time?" Jane was still trying to get her head wrapped around what she had just seen. She was beginning to become grateful to the presence within her, it was doing a super job of helping keep her from freaking out about everything that was happening in her life at the moment.

"Everyone in this group is powerful enough to be able to turn back to their human form rather quickly, but the less powerful Lycans must wait for at least an hour before they can shift back. The young teens, who have just gained the ability to shift, must wait several hours and sometimes a day before they can change back." Evie informed them.

"The truly powerful Lycans can take a third form, one that is like you said, a wolfman type form or whatever species of Lycan they happen to be. Lionman, tigerman, that sort of thing, of the three forms the half animal, half man form is the strongest and the largest. Also some strong alphas are gifted with the ability to perform partial shifts. They can just shift their hands, eyes, nose, or ears. Things like that. It can be a very useful gift to have." Marcus demonstrated by shifting his hand from that of a normal human to that of a wolfman.

"Okay, now that was cool and I can see where that ability could come in handy, especially in a fight." Jane took a deep breath clearing her lungs and easing her mind, she glanced over at Maura to see how she was holding up.

"I am doing fine Jane. My mind is speeding up with millions of questions, but they can wait. I am here with you all the way." Maura squeezed Jane's hand in reassurance.

Jane returned the embrace before focusing back on the group around them. "We would like to see them shift back whenever they are able."

"Warren, Ashley whenever you are ready, shift back to human form." The wolves' posture changed subtly showing their agreement to their alpha.

It didn't even register, with either Jane or Maura, that they were able to read the postures and gestures of the wolves before them as easily as they could read any humans. They both watched and felt as the energy around the two wolves grew once more, before bursting forth again only this time two humans were standing where two wolves had been only moments earlier. Once again Ashley was seconds ahead of Warren in transforming.

"Truly incredible." Maura said. "Please feel free to get dressed if you wish. I hope you wouldn't mind talking with me later. I have all kinds of questions."

Jane smiled at her love. Maura was so adorable when something captured that big brain of hers. She knew it wouldn't be long before Maura was able to go Google-speak about Lycans as well.

"You do not give them permission to do anything. That is for our Alpha to do." Spoke a tall dark haired man of Hispanic descent. He stepped forward flanked by a woman who looked like she could be his sister and a large heavily built man with pale skin and dark hair and eyes.

"You do not speak to Lady Isles or Lady Rizzoli in that manner Manuel. They are Alpha to all Lycans." Marcus reprimanded.

"They have not even been Lycan a full day or even opened up to their wolves and changed yet. They are not Alpha to us." The woman spoke. "The small woman has no right to give permissions to any of us."

"Carlita." Marcus warned her.

Jane felt her power stirring within. She was being challenged and these two were talking down to her mate. That she would not tolerate. "If I were you, I would listen to Marcus and stand down." She stepped forward once, placing herself completely in front of Maura.

Maura slid her hand from Jane's, but didn't stop touching her. She skimmed her hand up Jane's arm and let it rest on her shoulder instead. It was Jane's calling to be the leader, the dominate, and it was hers to support and take care of Jane.

Marcus sighed, he knew it was coming, though he had hoped that the confrontation could have been held off a little while longer.

Manuel stepped forward until he was officially in Jane's space. Carlita and Kendar stood behind each of his shoulders. "I do not recognize you as dominate to me. A true dominate could back me down and shove me out of their space without even touching me. Something I don't see you doing." Manuel smiled. "Something I will do to you and your little woman."

Jane felt her anger flair at the man's arrogance. Her anger helped hold her in place when she felt the first blast of some unexplained power slam into her. Manuel was attempting to force Jane to step away from him without touching her, to show his dominance over her and Maura. That only pissed the detective off all the more. Jane shook her head and her own cocky smirk formed. Her backing down from the arrogant wolf was so not happening.

Maura felt the power slam against herself and Jane, and knew what was happening. She couldn't stop the chuckle that escaped. One did not challenge Jane Rizzoli or try to push her mate around ever, especially when Maura was standing right there with her. Jane was highly protective of her and always had been. The three Lycan wolves had pushed two of Jane's hot buttons and awoken the beast within. Jane already carried around a type of beast of her own before she had ever become Lycan. Maura knew now Jane's protective and badass tendencies were going to grow even stronger than they were before. Nope these three didn't stand a chance and if Jane needed her help, Maura definitely had her love’s back.

Jane let a feral smile show when she heard Maura chuckle. She felt Maura's complete faith and support wash over her. It made her feel all the stronger. Jane reached inside herself and stroked the new power that now lived there. She slowly let little by little free until she could easily hold off the man standing before her. "It doesn't look like you are doing too good of a job backing me down, now does it." Jane's smile only grew. She was really enjoying herself at the moment.

Manuel's anger grew and he pushed his power to the limit, he growled when it didn't seem to affect the dark haired woman at all. He smiled when he felt Kendar and Carlita throw in their power with his. They would back the newbies down where they belonged.

Jane felt the added power buffet against her. She let a little more of what she held inside free and easily held her own against them. "It seems like you can't push me away." She let a little more go. "I however, can back the three of you off." The cop blasted them. It was obvious to everyone that the three were fighting to stand against her and losing. In moments they stepped back. Jane kept pressing until they were several steps away and their heads were bowed, they were no longer even able to look Jane in the eye.

Everyone in the group was impressed. Jane had just backed down three of the most powerful alpha wolves in their pack, outside of their leader and his mate. It was unheard of for someone who had come into their gifts less than twenty-four hours before to be able to do such a thing.

Marcus smiled. "Well Manuel, it looks like she proved to us all who was more dominate, now fall back and behave." He looked at those of his pack around him. "Go get lunch started. Use the outdoor kitchen. Unload all of our coolers of food we brought around and store them there." He nodded his head in dismissal. The group dispersed leaving him and Evie alone with Maura and Jane.

It was obvious that Jane was working to calm her wolf. Maura was helping, but Marcus knew it wouldn't be long before Maura's wolf would be fighting with her as well. They needed to shift soon before their wolves took the decision out of their hands.

"Your wolves need to be let free for their first run. After that they will be easier to control. As long as you let your wolves loose to run periodically, neither of you should have a problem controlling them. The few true Lycans who have control issues are those who deny their wolves and force their wolf halves to take control." Evie said as she slid her hand into her husband's firm grip.

"Shifting takes a lot of energy. I think it would be best if you both ate a large lunch. Afterwards we can let our wolves run." Marcus advised.

Jane only nodded as she breathed deep relaxing and soaking up Maura's calming presence.

Maura now had her arm around Jane helping to calm her. She had felt the turbulent emotions that had risen in Jane. She had also felt Jane trying to calm them after her face off with the three other Lycans. It felt completely natural for her to wrap her arm around her love and help her to relax. "Do you need any assistance with lunch? The house kitchen is fully stocked, although it was stocked with only me and Jane in mind. I have a feeling that Lycans have very hearty appetites, but there should be enough for a day or two and I can always have more delivered." Maura had only just met these people, but she felt comfortable around most of them already. She knew some of that comfort came from her wolf.

Evie grinned. "Thank you, Maura. We do have hearty appetites, but you don't need to try and feed us. We brought provisions for a few days. We will figure it all out later when we need more, however I did notice earlier you had the makings for a large healthy salad. If you don't mind I think I will toss one together. This group tends to neglect their fruits and veggies sticking with meat and potatoes. I have to often force them to eat healthier."

"I know exactly what you mean." Maura laughed as she hugged Jane, who only rolled her eyes. "Feel free to use whatever is in the kitchen to make your salad. Also there is plenty of space in the large fridge and freezer to store any food you have brought. You don't have to keep everything in coolers."

"Thanks. Why don't the two of you take a walk down by the lake? It won't take long for these guys to grill up some burgers and steaks. We will call you when it's done." Evie waved them off.

Jane straightened. "We'll do that." She slid her arm around Maura giving a quick wave. "Thanks." The couple headed off down the path to the lake as Marcus and Evie headed towards the deck and patio area to see how things were coming along in the outdoor kitchen.

 

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I want to say thanks for all of you who have reviewed. I hope to have the next chapter up soon. Please R&R. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

Jane and Maura kept their arms around one another as they made their way down to the lake. They didn't go out onto the dock. Instead they turned walking along the perimeter of the water until they came to a bench set not too far from the water's edge, but back far enough to be shaded by the trees behind it. They sat still keeping a hold on one another neither speaking for long moments as they simply enjoyed each other's company and the view across the lake.

"It's real Maura. We both saw it, but more than that, I felt it. I don't know exactly how to explain it. It's not like there is a being inside me trying to take over not like in an alien movie or something." Jane paused as she tried to find the right words. "It's more like it is just another part of me, of my personality. I know I didn't physically feel my wolf rubbing its fur against me, but mentally, I did." She turned to Maura. "It was incredible, powerful. In that moment when those three Lycans threw their power together to try and back me down, I felt this overwhelming sense of…" she paused again "the only word I can come up with is confidence. I knew that I was more powerful. I almost felt invincible. I had you at my back if I needed you and between me and my wolf, those three didn't stand a chance." She fell silent once more knowing she had fallen short of putting into words how she had felt when she finally realized that not only were Lycans real, but she was now one of them. Jane was also even more aware of the woman next to her. Her wolf-self had no hang-ups about having feelings for her female best friend. Her wolf-self knew Maura as mate and wanted her. Jane had already decided to stop fighting her feelings and was in total agreement with her wolf. She wanted to claim Maura and soon.

…..

Maura sat silently enjoying the feeling of Jane's strong arm around her. She listened as Jane spoke. Maura had felt it when Jane's wolf rose within her. Maura's wolf had risen in response, knowing just as Maura did that their mate needed their calming presence. Mate? Maura thought a moment. Yes, Jane was her mate. The thought of sharing her life or body with anyone else felt wrong and intolerable. She and her wolf-self were in total agreement. Jane was theirs and they were claiming her soon. "I understand Jane. I felt mine rise within me too. We really are Lycans. It's surreal, but also very exciting. My senses have come alive. I have never been so aware of my surroundings before. I can see and hear more clearly. I am aware of the slightest change in the wind around me. Lunch should be interesting if our sense of taste has increased as much as our sight, hearing, and touch. However, I think the increase in our sense of smell will be the most difficult to get used to." Maura wrinkled her nose.

Jane laughed hugging Maura close. "I know. I originally thought we would sit out on the dock, but god, it smelt like there were at least twenty dead fish under the thing." The two laughed together. It felt good and eased some of the tension that had been building in them both since they awoke to Fenrir and Vivienne.

"I wonder how many dead fish are actually under the dock. It would give us a better idea of just how sensitive our noses are now." Maura murmured.

A grin split Jane's face. She loved how Maura's mind worked. The lovely doctor always kept her on her toes. Jane leaned over. "I don't think I can wait until lunch to try out my enhanced sense of taste." Her hand came up cradling Maura's face, turning it. She pressed her lips firmly to Maura's and moaned in pleasure. She eased back just enough to swipe her tongue across her love's soft lower lip taking her first enhanced taste. Maura instinctively opened for her. Jane did not hesitate. She gloried in the taste of Maura's intoxicating mouth. The experience was only heightened as Maura explored Jane's mouth just as thoroughly. The delicious aromas of Maura's arousal made the encounter even sweeter.

There was no telling how far the kissing would have went had Jane not heard the gravel shifting and popping on the path. She gentled the kiss easing back enough to see down the trail finding Evie a few hundred yards away. "It looks like lunch is ready." Jane caressed Maura's back while Maura did the same to her, as they both worked to get their breathing and heart rates under control.

"Sorry to interrupt, but lunch is soon to be served and if you are late those hungry pups won't leave you much more than scraps to eat." Evie grinned at the couple.

Jane stood taking Maura's hand helping her up. "Thanks Evie. Sounds like eating with them will be like eating with my brothers."

"Those two only have table manners after me or your mother has taken a spoon to their hands a couple of times." Maura added smiling, remembering the first time she had ate at the Rizzoli family table.

"I may have to try that." Evie walked along beside the couple, who was walking hand in hand in companionable silence. She briefly thought about asking them if they had any questions or concerns about shifting after lunch, but decided to let it drop. All could be addressed later.

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Lunch was a boisterous and enjoyable affair. It seemed that all was well after Jane proved her dominance. The three that had challenged her earlier each shook her hand and talked jovially with her. They asked how she liked being a detective and was curious about the differences in what she did and what they did at Wolfe Security. Maura also enjoyed herself, no one seemed put off by the job she did and asked plenty of questions of her too. It seemed that both Jane and Maura could easily fit into the gathered group.

While the others cleaned up from lunch, Marcus pulled Jane aside to speak with her privately as Evie did the same with Maura.

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"Jane I know you are concerned about shifting, however shifting will be the easy part. The hard part will be fighting you and your wolf's urges to claim your mate while in wolf form."

"What?"

"It is instinctual for us. You will claim Maura while you are in wolf form, it's natural for your wolf-selves to bond in this way just as our human selves do. However, I don't recommend that you claim your mate first as wolves. Let your wolf play and flirt with Maura, but keep a tight rein on yourself. You may also have to rein in Maura's wolf for her if hers gets too aggressive, so to speak. Shifting is going to awaken the need to claim your mate to nearly unbearable levels." Marcus paused. "My pack has all set up our living quarters in that fancy bunkhouse on the edge of the lake. After you shift back and return to the main house no one will bother the two of you until you ask for us to return or you emerge from the house. Any couples’ first time together should be in their human form, especially when it involves the claiming their mate." He fell silent letting Jane absorb.

‘God, I never even thought about my wolf self wanting to claim Maura's’, Jane thought to herself. The idea should bother her, but it didn't. She felt her wolf stir inside of her at the thought. It felt right that both parts of her would claim Maura. "Thanks for the heads up and the assurance of privacy. Do you have any other information or advice?"

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Maura's mind worked with all the new information Evie was imparting. "I am very curious to find out how the mating between female Lycan wolves happens." She pondered aloud. "I will do my best to control my wolf side. I do want mine and Jane's first time together to be as our human selves." Her mind focused on how long she had wanted to get her hands on Jane's exquisitely formed body.

"Maura? Maura!" Evie smirked at the look on the woman's face. The fair haired woman really was head over heels for Jane. The two had an incredibly strong bond already. Becoming Lycan and claiming each other was only going to make that bond completely unbreakable.

Maura blushed. "Sorry, please continue."

Chuckling Evie did. "The bite marks you leave on each other during claiming will not totally disappear, but will become more of a milky silver in appearance, as mine are." She pulled her t-shirt aside showing Maura the area of her shoulder and lower neck. "I have matching marks on the other side as well. The initial claiming bite will always be the brightest, but during the claiming period you can leave numerous claiming marks on one another. These are symbols of a strong, loving, and healthy union among all Lycan kind. Mating marks are honored and coveted, not something to be ashamed of. The marks are also not seen by regular humans. Only those of the paranormal, supernatural, or preternatural world can see them. Sometimes humans awakened to our world can see the initial and brightest of our claiming marks."

Maura felt the skin on her neck and shoulders tingle at the thought of wearing Jane's claiming mark.

"The moment of initial claiming is very intimate. Your hearts, bodies, minds, and souls will be completely opened to one another. A connection will form between you and Jane so strong that even death cannot break. A true mating among Lycans is for all time, neither of you will ever desire nor need another. The claiming is an airtight lifelong and beyond commitment. A human marriage isn't even a drop in a sea in comparison to the Lycan soulmate bond you will share with Jane."

The fluttering of Maura's heart grew stronger, but it wasn't fear of such a commitment, but longing. She wanted this with Jane, she needed it. "I should be nervous of all this. I have never before met someone I would want to be that connected to accept for Jane. I have been drawn to her since the moment I met her." Maura thought once again of the time when she was just a girl and met little Janie and then again when they were unknowingly reunited and she met the formidable Detective Jane Rizzoli.

"It would be wise for you and Jane to marry in the human world immediately, if possible. Once you are mated neither of you will respond well to others approaching your mate in a romantic fashion. Marriage and a wedding ring will go a long way in helping with that. It will also stop your families and friends from trying to set you up on anymore dates with men."

The stirring of her wolf inside her was becoming familiar to Maura. They were both in agreement, no one touched their mate but them. "I agree. I will speak with Jane about it later. Is there anything else before we shift and run?"

Going over her mental checklist of the things she and Marcus wanted to impart, Evie believed she had covered everything. "No, I think we covered everything. Once you and Jane return to the main house you will have total privacy until you contact us. We will enjoy the lake and woods, and also patrol the property. The two of you only need to relax and enjoy claiming one another."

"I am sure we will enjoy that. I will make a quick call to my caretakers and inform them that you and Marcus have authorization to order anything you need and have it delivered if you do not want to head into the nearest town for supplies. They are very discrete and have no problem gathering supplies for large groups. I believe I will also place an order for a few things for Jane and me, to help us keep our strength up." Maura grinned.

"You and Marcus can bring the stuff into the kitchen when they deliver our order. I don't think that will disturb us. The house also has excellent sound proofing, so as long as the doors and windows are shut we won't be bothered by your lake activities. So feel free to barrow the ski and fishing boats, as well as the row boats, canoes, and ski-doos that are in the boat house. There is also a volleyball net and other various equipment for beach games in the boathouse. Please feel free to utilize them all. You, Marcus, and your pack have been very helpful to us so far, introducing us into this new life Jane and I have been thrust into, also keeping an eye on Jo Friday. I know there is much more to come. You all should enjoy yourselves when you can."

Evie thanked her and surprised Maura with a brief hug and wishing her good luck before heading out of the house to join the others gathering to head to the woods.

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Maura and Jane had already changed into comfy shorts and t-shirts, neither wearing underwear as Evie advised. Jane had on canvas shoes she could easily slip on and off her bare feet and Maura opted for her glittery designer flip-flops. Maura took a moment to contact her cabin caretakers before she joined Jane, Evie, and Marcus out on the deck. She easily slipped her hand into Jane's as the foursome made their way to the edge of the woods where they would shift and run.

Jane reveled in the ease she felt with Maura. She found such joy in not hiding her feelings any longer and knowing that those feelings were returned. The raven haired woman couldn't wait to see her mating marks on Maura and to wear Maura's as well. Jane also couldn't wait to marry Maura and slip her ring on the golden ginger’s finger. She would do so soon. They reached the others and listened as Marcus spoke.

 

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You won't have to wait long, they will be shifting in the next chapter and I better warn you now that things get pretty steamy between our couple in the upcoming chapters. Please Read and Review and keep me informed on what you think. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 8

"The area has been scouted and as long as we stay on Maura's property we will have no run-ins with humans. I left scent markers all along the property line so you will all know where to stop and turn. We don't need any hunters after us with shotguns. I want all of you to shift first, then I will change followed by Jane and Maura and finally Evie." Marcus ordered.

The other members of the pack had already begun to undress as he turned to Jane and Maura. "All you have to do is relax and call the wolf to the front of your mind. You are basically giving your wolf permission to take the lead and she will do so. Don't fight your wolf when the change starts and it won't hurt at all. Only if you fight will you feel any pain." Marcus informed them both. "When it comes time to shift back you simply push your human self to the forefront of your mind and let it take over in the same way."

Jane and Maura began to undress along with everyone else. Jane treated the situation like she would changing in the locker room at work or at the gym. Maura was able to see it all in a more clinical light. Their only exception was when they looked upon one another. They would always be affected by one another's body.

Everyone was shifting as they finished undressing. Marcus shifted into a huge grey wolf larger than any of the others, though they were all larger than natural wolves.

"Jane I want to go before you so you can see my wolf with human eyes, and when we shift back I will also want to go first so I can see your wolf with my human eyes." Jane nodded her agreement to Maura's request. She was eager to see what Maura's wolf looked like.

Jane watched as Maura closed her eyes and relaxed her body. The shift was almost instantaneous. Where Maura stood seconds earlier now stood a beautiful completely snow white wolf, at least a hand span larger than Marcus.

"My God Maura, you're beautiful." Jane knelt beside Maura running her hands through the soft luxurious fur. "You are so incredibly lovely." Maura rubbed against Jane, licking her across the back of her hand before backing away, clearly eager for Jane to shift as well.

Jane did as she had seen Maura do, she relaxed her body as she closed her eyes. She felt her wolf rise within her and called her forward giving her permission to run. The shift happened in less than a blink of an eye. One instant Jane was on two legs and the next on four. It took a moment to adjust to the eye sight of the wolf and her senses were even more enhanced in wolf form. Maura rubbed against her and growled her approval. Jane could tell she was a fair bit larger than Maura, but not too excessively so. She wanted to run but waited, for now, Marcus was in command.

Evie stood in momentary awe of the two large wolves, who dwarfed even Marcus. Knowing the two women were to be wolves of legend, born of the Gods and Goddesses was one thing, but seeing the proof of who these two really truly were standing in front of her, was one of the most amazing moments of her life. Marcus nudged her leg to hurry her along. Every wolf there was staring, just as she was, at the two legendary wolves. Evie quickly shifted into her red and grey wolf and took her place following Marcus as he led them all into the woods.

Jane and Maura both loved the freedom of running as their wolves, it was like nothing they had ever experienced before. Jane couldn't help but leave her scent markers over any of Marcus' that she came across. To her and her wolf this was her territory to protect, as Maura was hers to love and protect.

Marcus wisely did not challenge her because ultimately it was Jane’s territory.

Maura loved rubbing against Jane, nipping at her and making Jane chase her. Maura could never out run the black wolf. She wanted Jane to claim her so badly she had a hard time keeping her need reined in. At one point her wolf slipped her leash and pounced at Jane only to find herself on her back with Jane holding her down with her body, teeth at her throat growling. The teeth didn't break the skin, but they did hold firm. It proved to Maura's wolf-self that Jane was indeed the dominant between them and that Jane was determined to wait until they were in human form before they claimed each other. That show of strength and dominance only turned Maura on more.

Jane was hanging on to the reins of her wolf as tightly as she could and Maura wasn't making it easy. Maura in wolf form was carefree in a way Maura didn't often let her human self be. Jane had only once had to rein in Maura, but it only made her need grow stronger after having Maura beneath her in such a way. Jane eased herself up releasing Maura, who flipped over to her stomach, but stayed in a submissive posture before Jane. Maura stayed like that until Jane licked her across the snout and took off heading back towards the house. Jane was tired of waiting, she wanted her mate and she wanted her soon.

Maura immediately ran along with her, the rest of the pack following.

Maura shifted back first. "Jane you are gorgeous. Your fur is so soft and thick. You're so large and powerful, you're amazing, sweetheart." She hugged Jane close as she gushed before backing away to get dressed when Jane growled.

Jane shifted, quickly getting dressed, never taking her gaze from Maura. She didn't even register the slightly tighter fit of her clothes due to the minor growth in her muscles.

Maura saw the intense look in Jane's eyes, she didn't bother putting on her sparkly flip-flops, simply picked them up and took off running for the house as fast as she could.

Jane immediately took off after her easily catching up and sweeping Maura into her strong arms without slowing as she ran with her mate across the yard, up the steps of the deck, and into the house with cheers, whistles, and howling following them from the pack they left behind.

Maura wrapped her arms around Jane's neck awed by the strength Jane showed. The taller woman carried her as if she weighted nothing at all.

Jane toed off her shoes as she entered the house. Maura dropped hers nearby, never letting go of Jane. The detective carried her up the stairs not stopping until they reached the in-suite bathroom of the master bedroom they were staying in.

There Jane’s lips claimed Maura's in a soul shattering kiss, one of endless love and devotion and of great need and desire. Maura's feet touched the floor and the two quickly divested one another of their clothes. Maura started the water running before Jane led them into the elaborate shower, water was spraying upon them from all sides.

They pulled apart from a long kiss, foreheads resting together, both breathing raggedly. "I love you so much, Maura. I feel like if I don't claim you soon I’m going to explode. I don't want to do it in the shower though, at least not the initial claiming." She shifted her body, one thigh going between Maura's.

Maura groaned as her hot center came into contact with Jane's strong thigh. "I love you too, sweetheart, so much. You feel so good." Her breathing increased as Jane took control of Maura's hips working her slick center up and down across her thigh.

Maura shifted her own leg until she felt Jane's fiery wetness rubbing against her own thigh with every thrust they made. Both women were panting as they quickly rose to a shattering peak that had them both crying out for their partner. They clung to one another as they slowly floated back down to earth.

"You feel so good Maura, being wrapped up in your body is the most glorious home I could ever imagine. You are my home now baby. Home sweet home. Your heart, your soul, your mind, your body are a home greater than any dream I could have ever dreamed. I want to stay wrapped up in you forever." Jane declared.

Maura was moved to tears by the declaration from her tough and strong lover, having Jane as hers was a gift above all measure. "Oh Jane, my Jane, I feel the same. You fill me so full of love and belonging, more than I have ever thought or even imagined possible. I love you more than I could ever explain in mere words and you know how good I am at coming up with lengthy explanations."

Jane chuckled. "Yes, my google-mouthed love, I know." She leaned back looking into her lover’s eyes. "We better finish cleaning up or we will not make it to that large comfy bed before I claim you. That trip over the moon with you only eased my need for you by the smallest amount.”

Maura grinned. "I will wash your back if you will wash mine." Rubbing her breasts across Jane's.

Jane groaned. "Jesus woman, you're killing me." Jane loved every minute of it.

The two of them probably broke some sort of record for fastest shower after that. They both stepped out of the glass and tile enclosure squeaky clean and helped dry one another thoroughly.

Opening the bathroom door and stepping into the master bedroom they found food set up under glass domes on the coffee table in the sitting area with a bottle of champagne on ice and two glasses.

On the floor near the end of the bed was a cooler bucket filled with ice and bottles of water, juice, and energy drinks. The room was awash with candlelight. Flameless candles flickered around the room. They supposed the flamed ones could get dangerous if the lovemaking became too boisterous, which they neither one doubted it would at some point.

Jane and Maura both knew it was Evie, Ashley, and Carlita who had set everything up, they recognized their scents. Both women were touched by their thoughtfulness. A sheet of white paper was standing on end between the two wine glasses, the couple walked together to the sitting area where Maura picked the paper up reading aloud.

Dear Jane and Maura,

We thought we would put together a few provisions for you so you wouldn't have to venture far from your claiming bed for a while. Enjoy this special time together when two souls become one and begin their journey through life together as soulmates. The bond you two have is already strong and it is obvious to us all how much you love each other, your claiming will cement your bond and feelings, making them invincible. Revel in the claiming and trust me the flameless candles are best, the stories I have heard about Lycan claiming and burning candles are not pretty. Now put down this note and get back to what you were doing.

Your new friends and family,

Marcus, Evie, and the pack

Jane wrapped her arms more tightly around Maura from behind, loving the feel of her soft warm curves against her. "They really are a great group and this is really good of them." She nibbled along Maura's shoulder to her neck. "Would you like to open that champagne now or save it for a little later?" She was praying for later, but would follow Maura's lead.

Turning in Jane's embrace Maura looked up into her love's intoxicating eyes. "I think the champagne needs to chill on ice for a while and I for one cannot wait any longer to make you mine for all time. Take me to bed Jane and claim me."

Being a highly intelligent woman, Jane didn't waste a second. She scooped the sexy honey blond off her feet carrying her to bed gently laying her down in the middle. The glorious curvy body before her was the most beautiful she had ever seen. "Maura you are absolutely breathtaking. I don't know how I got lucky enough to have you as mine, but I will thank the heavens for the blessing every day." Jane slowly lowered her body down, her and Maura both moaning as their naked flesh pressed intimately together.

"Oh Jane, you feel so good, I shall never get enough of you." Maura pulled Jane down more firmly against her, wrapping her legs around Jane's waist and her arms around her back. Their mouths met in a fierce battle for dominance. They devoured one another as their need built, their first claiming would not be slow, but intense and earth moving. Jane slid her arms down hooking Maura's knees with her elbows pushing them up and out forcing Maura's pelvis to lift up and open more for her.

Maura gladly tilted her hips opening herself even more for Jane. She felt Jane's legs widen before enormous pleasure buffeted her body as their scalding centers met. The fierce pleasure caused the women to break the kiss as they both cried out.

"God that feels so good, what the hell is that, it feels like we are somehow melded together down there." Jane moaned and couldn't stop grinding against Maura.

"I don't know, but I am thoroughly enjoying it." Maura couldn't move much in her current position, but she was moving as best she could, wanting to ride the waves with her mate as high as they would go.

"I am so close babe, I'm not going to last much longer. I must claim you now, you are the love of my life and I want to make you mine." Jane felt a slight shifting happening with her teeth as she lowered her head to Maura's shoulder where shoulder and neck met.

"Oh yes, Jane, so close. Make me yours as I make you mine." Maura too felt the shifting of her teeth as she turned her head into Jane's neck and shoulder.

Their teeth sank into one another at the same instant, both women screaming as they continued to hold the other firmly in their jaws sharp embrace. The orgasm that rocked them was like nothing either experienced before. Wave after wave of pleasure rocketed through them growing in intensity as each wave built and crested. Adding to this earth shattering pleasure was the building of the connection between them, as each of their entire beings opened up to the other, both women humbled with the level and strength of love and so much more that the other felt for them. Their memories opened up to each other, helping to further build a bond between them like no other. They truly were to be mated in body, spirit, soul, heart, and mind. Everything that they were would now be melded together as one for all time. As the last wave built to unimaginable heights, both women eased back from their bites, licking the marks left behind with their tongue before screaming their pleasure to the heavens as the final wave crashed over them and darkness enveloped them both.

 

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I know, kind of left you hanging there, lol. Don't worry more of the smutty stuff to come in the next chapter; it lasts from beginning to end. I wonder how many claiming marks our duo will give each other, they are pretty hot for one another and I can see them staking their claims well. Please continue the R&R's. I love hearing from you. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 9

Jane came to with her body was still half over Maura's, her head still buried in Maura's neck and hair. She gently eased up looking down on her still unconscious mate. Her heart swelled as she saw her claiming mark shining brightly on Maura's shoulder. Maura was now hers for all time. Jane reached up touching Maura's marks on her own shoulder and erotic tingles immediately shot to her erogenous zones. Jane groaned smiling. She belonged equally to Maura. Jane couldn't ever remember being as happy in her entire life as she was at that moment.

Maura moaned beneath Jane as her eyes started to flutter open. Maura focused on Jane's smiling face above her, her own face splitting into a large smile. "I love you Jane. I am so happy you are mine." She reached up stroking her fingers across her shiny marks on Jane's shoulder and neck. Maura loved Jane's response. Jane's body ground against hers as her love’s eyes closed in pleasure.

"I am equally happy to be yours, baby. I’m also overjoyed to have you as mine." Jane returned the caress, her fingers trailing across the claiming marks she left on Maura. Maura arched up into Jane, moaning in return.

"That feels incredible. The sensations that flooded me when we claimed each other were like nothing I could ever have imagined. I feel so close to you now, more so than ever before. I truly feel like we are now one. I’m a part of you as you are a part of me. The bond between us is spectacular." Maura and Jane hugged each other close reveling in the new outrageously strong and close connection they now had.

Jane began running her tongue along the mark on Maura's shoulder. Her mate writhing beneath her was an intoxicating feeling. Jane's free hand slid down cupping Maura's full breast eliciting even more sounds of pleasure from her mate. Jane worked her way around to Maura's other shoulder licking, nibbling, and sucking the sensitive skin she found there. Maura was clinging to Jane as Jane rapidly brought her towards another climax. Jane's free hand left Maura's breasts traveling across her taunt stomach, through honey curls, and into the waiting heat bellow. She ran her fingers through the swollen folds, feeling how enormously wet Maura was for her. Jane slid two fingers into her mates scalding wet heat as her thumb found Maura's enlarged clit.

"Oh, my heavens Jane! You feel so good, so good!" Maura groaned and panted as she rose to ecstasy, crying out in sheer bliss, as she crested. Jane bit down on her other shoulder, giving Maura another claiming mark.

Jane felt Maura's nails claw into her back as she continued to slowly stoke her love as she rode out her climax. Jane licked her marks, loving the taste of Maura in any form. The thought brought ideas to mind of tasting her mate in other ways. She didn't give Maura much time to recover before she took one of her tempting breasts into her mouth suckling as her hand and fingers went to work on the other.

Maura couldn't believe how easily Jane was drawing such erotic responses from her body so immediately after such an intense climax. Her body still weak with pleasure she could only cling to Jane as best she could and hang on for the ride.

Jane soon began trailing kisses down Maura's stomach before coming to rest in the Promised Land. The dark haired woman ran her tongue across the dusky folds glorying in the tastes and aromas offered by her very aroused mate. She plunged her tongue deep, lapping up every drop Maura could give her. At one point, she had to place a strong hand across Maura's stomach to help hold her lover still while she continued her pleasing ministrations.

She felt Maura tightening around her tongue as she grew close to another orgasm. Jane brushed her thumb across Maura's clit a few times adding to her pleasure, and Maura flew apart for her once more. Jane immediately slid her tongue from Maura and bit into her inner thigh, marking Maura as hers once more. She didn't stop administering pleasure on Maura. She eased up on Maura's clit and plunged three fingers deep inside her as she licked her bite mark clean, closing it. She took Maura's clit into her mouth teasing the nub gently until she felt Maura's body begin to grind into her once more, letting her know Maura was ready for more.

Jane sucked Maura's clit between her lips, stroking and milking it, eliciting mewling incoherent sounds from her mate. She began stroking her fingers in and out of Maura faster and deeper as she matched the actions with her lips and tongue on Maura's very swollen and needy clit. Jane felt Maura tightening around her fingers as she neared another climax and she sucked hard on Maura's clit, flattening her tongue against it firmly.

Maura screamed as her body bowed in pleasure. Jane bit into her unmarked thigh as the fingers of her other hand replaced her mouth, milking every last drop of pleasure from Maura's core while Jane left another claiming mark.

Jane slowly licked her bite mark, then Maura's center, lapping up as much of her precious honey as she could, before she began to kiss her way back up her heaving mate's body. "You taste like ambrosia, my love. I could spend days drinking from your delicious heat and it wouldn't be nearly enough."

Jane settled down beside her well pleased lover and pulled her into her arms, resting Maura's head on her shoulder while gently stroking her mate's lovely back.

…..

Maura had never been so well pleased in her life. No one had ever loved her like Jane did. Every touch, stroke, kiss that Jane gave her was filled with love and devotion. Jane held nothing back from her anymore and Maura was moved beyond all measure by the depths of love Jane held for her. No one had ever loved and cared for her so much. Jane had also brought those feelings out in her. Maura had never thought she could experience such feelings of love for someone before she met Jane, but her rough and tumble badass detective was an extremely compassionate and loving woman with an enormous heart. For all of Maura's high IQ she had still learned so much from Jane, things that no book or class could ever teach her. She felt blessed and very content as she lay in her mate's arms. Once she gained a little strength back she was definitely going to show Jane how much she loved, desired, and needed her.

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A soft hand began running small circles around Jane's bellybutton causing the muscles to bunch beneath the caress. Maura smiled to herself in satisfaction at the proof of how she affected her lover. She loved the amazing recuperative powers she now possessed. Her hand moved lower to the dark trimmed curls below, Jane's body tightening even more in anticipation. When Maura finally slid her fingers into the swollen heat, Jane's hips rose to meet her touch. The detective's breathing had increased sharply. Maura shifted her body taking the hardened nipple nearest her into her eager mouth. Jane groaned, clutching at Maura back with one hand as the other fisted in the sheets. Maura loved how needy Jane was for her touch. The doctor understood just how she felt because she herself felt the same way for her Jane. Maura suckled the hardened nipple in her mouth as she continued to stroke her fingers along Jane's dripping slit feeling her lover tighten even more. Jane was close to coming, her body already primed from the pleasure she had given Maura. Maura slid two fingers deep into Jane's tight heat as her palm ground against Jane's engorged eager clit.

Jane screamed for her mate as her orgasm exploded! Maura pressed her body more fully onto Jane, to keep from being bucked off as her lover came. Maura bit into Jane's breast as she flew apart laying claim to her once again. She was going to give Jane a taste of her own erotic medicine. Maura continued to thrust into Jane adding another finger filling her more, she picked up the pace taking Jane harder and faster. Jane was going wild beneath her. It was a powerfully intoxicating feeling to be able to make such a strong woman writhe beneath her, for her. She shifted her body slightly, kissing along Jane's neck to her ear.

"Your mine Jane and I plan on marking you many times before our claiming period it over." Jane shook even more as Maura drew her earlobe into her mouth, pressing her teeth to it lightly as she sucked.

"Fly apart for me again mate, while I mark you." Maura ordered forcefully just before she heard Jane's shout of pleasure fill the room. She bit into Jane's unmarked shoulder, where shoulder and neck met. Jane flooded Maura's hand making Maura thirsty to take a drink. The golden ginger eased her teeth from Jane before properly licking her mark, sealing it. She left her fingers buried deep, yet unmoving, inside of Jane enjoying the aftershocks that rocked her lover's body.

Easing up slightly, Maura placed feather light kisses along Jane's jaw up to her mouth, taking her in a deep drugging kiss before slowly descending down Jane's body orally enjoying the gleaming olive tan skin along the way. Maura maneuvered her shoulders between Jane's legs, blowing against the quivering flesh before her, watching as Jane's body bowed in pleasure for her and Jane's hands clinched the sheets below her in a white knuckled grip. "You are absolutely breathtaking." Maura whispered as she took in the wonder of the sight before her.

She blew once more across Jane's enflamed slit before lowering her mouth to take her first drink of her mate's delicious nectar. The wonderful taste that was Jane exploded across her tongue and Maura knew she would never be able to get enough, and would spend much time drinking from this wonderful fountain of pleasure and beauty.

Jane was writhing again as Maura's mouth and fingers took her over, owned her. She was incoherent in her pleas. Maura felt the orgasm building and coiling within Jane, waiting for the right moment to turn her head and bite into a strong inner thigh, claiming her mate once more. She continued to move her fingers inside Jane not allowing her to come down from her orgasmic high, but building it higher. She turned her head licking Jane's unmarked thigh letting Jane know what was coming, letting the anticipation build. With the fingers of one hand she stroked Jane's large clit firmly as the fingers of her other hand, deep inside her lover, curled upward, finding the sweet spot and pressing repeatedly. Jane howled as she flew apart and Maura's teeth sank into the remaining unmarked inner thigh.

Jane's honey actually flew from her body in a rush, filling Maura's hands and bathing her breasts. Maura knew that some women could do this and she felt inordinately pleased that she was able to take Jane to such heights. Jane's body fell limply to the bed, her breathing ragged. Maura swiped her tongue across her mark and slid her damp body up across Jane's gleaming torso. She levered herself up enough to look at her lover's beautiful face. She gently kissed Jane’s closed eyes, her forehead, her cheeks, and finally her sensuous lips. "I love you, sweetheart and I will never get enough of you."

Jane's eyes fluttered open, a small smile ghosting across her face. "I love you too, baby. I feel very much the same." Her voice sounding much huskier than before. "Never get enough of you, ever." She whispered before her eyes closed once again.

Maura laid her head on Jane's shoulder, caressing and soothing her mate's sated body. They lay together simply holding one another, relaxing into the moment, while the room darkened around them as the sun outside slowly sank on such a life altering day.

"arrghrr"

Both women laughed. "I think that is your stomach telling us that we need to eat and replenish our strength before we can enjoy each other's bodies more." Maura said moments before her own stomach made itself known.

"And I think that is your body agreeing with mine." Jane actually giggled. "Would you like to shower with me before we dig into the food the pack left for us?"

"I think that is an excellent idea. We need to keep our strength up, because I know I am nowhere near done with you yet." Maura nipped Jane on the chin.

Jane growled in response and bounded out of bed in one quick movement with a shrieking Maura still in her arms. "And I am in no way done with you yet either, woman." She tossed Maura gently over her shoulder in a fireman's carry and swatted her on her lovely derriere. "Let's get cleaned up and eat, because I am already craving more of you."

Maura laughed, outrageously turned on by Jane's casual feats of strength and agility. She swatted Jane's swaggering butt as she was carried into the bathroom. "Do you think I can use you as my plate when we eat?" Maura asked grinning.

An answering growl was heard as the bathroom door closed behind the pair.

 

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I warned you this chapter was nothing but smutty goodness from beginning to end. The next chapter may have some mature spots. However, I do plan to move on a little more with the story, but don't worry these two sexy wolves are totally in love and hot for each other. They won't be able to keep their hands off of one another for long. Please let me know what you think. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 10

Two mornings later Maura awoke with a groan, her body ached. She knew why when she opened her eyes and saw where she and Jane lay facing one another. A staircase was not the most ideal spot to pass out after rigorous lovemaking. After more than 48 hours of constant, sometimes energetic, sometimes gentle, and sometimes very creative lovemaking, Maura and Jane's bodies were both very well claimed.

They had ran the night before as wolves, barely making it out of the house before they shifted, running free together nipping and flirting, rubbing and bumping against one another. Maura loved to tease Jane. The energetic play drove both wolves to the breaking point. Maura soon found herself on her back with Jane's muzzle firmly latched onto her neck and shoulder as their wolf-selves mated repeatedly. Jane's wolf side never let Maura's wolf take the dominate position, but she did give her neck and shoulder to Maura for claiming. It had been different, but no less glorious, to let their wolves go and act as nature intended. The mating of their wolves cemented their claiming. She and Jane were now completely and irrevocably claimed and mated. While their wolf halves had been sated during their romp in the woods their human sides had not.

The two new alphas didn't even make it back into the house before they were in each other's arms fumbling for the door. They were only halfway up the staircase when Maura took the dominate position she hadn't been able to take as a wolf. She took Jane hard and fast before being flipped over and having the same done to her. The encounter ended when they each slid three fingers deep into each other, lips melded as one, devouring, hips rocking together, free arms clinging to one another as they climbed to the peak together. They came simultaneously, the pleasure blasting through them, flowing over them, until their sated bodies could take no more. The couple had fallen almost instantly asleep where they lay clinging to their lifemate.

Although currently uncomfortable, the memory brought a smile to Maura's face. She knew the claiming period was now over, she simply felt it throughout her entire being, she felt truly complete. She and Jane were two bodies, but one soul, one heart, one entity bound together for all time. She leaned forward kissing Jane softly on the lips. Jane instantly kissed her back before pulling away with a groan.

"Owe. What the hell?" Jane opened her eyes to find out why she was so uncomfortable. It took a moment for Jane to remember exactly how they got there, but when she did a large smile split her face. "A hell of a place to pass out, but I had a freakin' wonderful time getting here." She pushed Maura onto her back and kissed her trying to convey all the love and happiness she felt. She pulled back smiling. "The claiming period is over and you are mine. I want to shout it for all to hear. I know this may not be the most romantic time and place. I know we are mated for all time, but Maura I want you to wear my ring as I wear yours. Marry me Maura! Marry me and make our union recognized in the eyes of our human family and friends, as well. Will you please marry me and become my wife wholly in both our worlds?"

Joy radiated from Maura's every pore as she drew Jane back into her, kissing her for all she was worth, the uncomfortable position forgotten by both women. They drew apart panting. "Is that a yes?" Jane’s eyes were dancing with mirth.

"You only beat me to the asking by seconds my lovely woman. I was planning on asking you as soon as you woke up. I would be honored to become your wife and have you as mine. I know people may not like it very much, but I don't want a big social wedding like my mother would want, and honestly I don't really want a big flamboyant Italian wedding like your mother would want. I'm thinking we get married in private with minimal fuss and not much delay. We can have Marcus and Evie and a few of the other pack members we know as our witnesses." Maura bit her lower lip, hoping she hadn't offended her dark haired mate.

"I am so loving you even more right now. We can pick out bands together. I'm sure you know where we can find those. It would be easiest if we could marry in Massachusetts, since we are both legal residents there, although DC is closer to where we are now. It is also going to be fun as hell shocking the crap out of everyone when we go back home. My mom may grumble a while about me marrying a woman as well as marrying without her, but hopefully not for too long. I mean I did snag a gorgeous doctor." Jane kissed Maura again. The claiming period was over, but the honeymoon certainly wasn't. Both women hoped it never would be.

Jane and Maura finally moved apart as their bodies began to protest. "I think we need to move this upstairs and into the shower." Maura slowly stood taking Jane's hand. Maura turned back when she heard Jane's long whistle. "What?"

"We sure did a number on your cabin, Maur." Jane was looking over the railing into the open floor plan of the home. In the kitchen things were scattered across the floor from an earlier bout of lovemaking that took place on the island there, as well as the floor. Everything that once stood on the island now resided on the floor and there was a bit of additional mess on the floor, countertops, and even the refrigerator door. They had gotten a bit carried away with a late night snack that involved fruit, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Jane knew she would never be able to look at a fruit salad or a banana split the same way again.

Chairs were knocked over in the dining area where they christened the table at some point. The furniture in the living room was all sitting slightly askew and no cushions remained on any of them. Many of the pictures on the walls were also a little off kilter. They had really enjoyed claiming each other, almost constantly, since they entered the house after their first shift. The house gave silent testimony to that fact. Maura and Jane were both very well claimed and mated.

"Wow. We may need to ask for some help to get this all cleaned up." Maura usually hated clutter and messiness, however this was one exception to the rule. She felt quite proud of this mess. They both knew the upstairs didn't look any better and probably worse.

"I guess Evie knew what she was doing when she set up flameless candles around our room." Jane grinned. "We will ask for help with the clean-up and I won't even get embarrassed about the whole situation, although I might brag. A bit." Jane stroked over a claiming mark she left on Maura's luscious backside, causing her to shiver and Jane's grin to grow.

"I may do a little bragging myself. Now let's go hop in the shower. I have a definite plan to ravish my mate and fiancé while we clean each other." Maura headed up the stairs never relinquishing her hold on Jane's hand.

Jane eagerly trotted behind.

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Evie stood in the entryway at the front of the cabin giggling at the mess before them. Marcus whistled like Jane had earlier. "Man those two really got around." Marcus stepped gingerly into the living area.

"It looks like they had a really good time." Evie was happy for the couple. She had talked on the phone with Maura a few minutes earlier. She had sounded happy and she had heard Jane actually singing in the background. "Maura said they needed a little help straightening up the place and getting it into some semblance of order. She said that she would have her caretakers do a total house scrubbing once everyone was gone." It was going to take more than just her and Marcus' help to get the place straightened up without it taking forever.

"I know, it’s crazy isn't it." They looked up as Jane spoke, the newly mated couple was heading down the stairs in t-shirts and shorts. They walked hand in hand, both smiling happily, and sporting several silvery claiming marks in plain view. No telling how many more was hidden by their clothes. All but the initial mark would fade in brightness with time, except when they were aroused or feeling other loving emotions. Sometimes the marks would even brighten to a golden shine when an unwanted suitor would approach, showing they were unavailable and uninterested.

"You two look happy and well pleased." Evie smiled at the couple and hugged each woman once they joined them.

"We are happy and if we were any more pleased I think we might have killed each other." Jane laughed and shook Marcus' hand as he congratulated them both with a chuckle of his own.

They all turned towards the mess around them. "I think me and Jane can handle the upstairs, if you and some of the others could work down here, it shouldn't take too long. We stayed out of the library and office, you won't have to worry about those rooms. I think the kitchen is the worst of it down here, and I don't think that we broke anything outside of the kitchen and possibly in the bedroom." Maura said gaining more chuckles.

"I’ll go gather a few of the pack to help clean, while the others get started grilling up lunch. Working together we should have this place straightened out in no time." Marcus turned and headed out the door at Jane's nod of agreement.

Marcus brought back Warren and Ashley. They too had a nice laugh and a few ribald comments to make before they all got down to work. Ashley and Evie took the kitchen while Marcus and Warren worked on the rest of the downstairs. Jane and Maura popped back up the stairs and went to work cleaning and straightening the thoroughly thrashed master suite. It didn't take long for the house to look somewhat normal again. Soon the trash was taken out and loaded into the large trash bins near the drive, and all the dirty linens and things were taken down to the laundry room to be cleaned. There had only been a few broken dishes and one vase, so the damage wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

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They all ate lunch together as Jane and Maura shared their plan to get married, by human standards, as soon as they possibly could.

"Actually, you wanting to head back towards our home state to get married might work out for you on more than one level." Marcus commented when only he, Evie, Jane, and Maura remained seated at one of the umbrella covered tables. The others had finished lunch and were cleaning up and heading down to the lake for some more fun in the sun.

"What do you mean?" Maura inquired, entwining her fingers with Jane's.

"When you two spoke with Lord Fenrir and Lady Vivienne, did either of them mention anything about training and preparation to fulfill your roles as the alphas of all Lycan kind?" Marcus set his empty beer bottle back down on the table.

"They touched on it briefly. We were told you would be helping us with that." Jane took another drink from her own beer.

Marcus nodded. "Yeah, that's what we were sent here for. Our packs home base is in Massachusetts. Since I am not only the local packs Alpha, but currently the Alpha of all the packs in the US of A, Massachusetts is currently designated as a sort of U.S. Capital for our kind. My local territory also extends up into New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Basically the upper most northeastern tip of the US is mine to rule. I oversee and meet with the other Pack Alphas around the US at least once a month, more often if they are having problems in their territory. If you want to get married soon in MA, I have some pull with a judge near Amherst, and can get the three day waiting period waved for you. A couple, elders in our pack, own and operate an upscale bed and breakfast in Amherst. It overlooks a lake and is very private. Many of our kind vacation there. If you would like, I can make a few calls and you could be married there. They have a website if you want to check it out."

"Oh that sounds lovely. We could stop in Manhattan for a little shopping on our way. We could pick out our rings and something to wear. I’ll look up the website, and you can call your friend about getting the paperwork started. We could head out first thing in the morning." Maura beamed, her mind already working on the myriad of things she thought needed to be taken care of.

Jane however was focused on what Marcus hadn't said yet. "What is this more than one level you were talking about? I'm betting it has a lot to do with the training and preparation you mentioned." She gave him the look that often had suspects spilling their guts to her when she had them in interrogation.

The look had Marcus straightening in his chair. "Yes it does. You see very rarely does anyone ever step completely blind into our world like you two have. If they do, they are able to gradually learn what they need to thrive. However, you two do not have that luxury. Most awakened dormants are betas, and if one happens to be an Alpha, they aren't a particularly powerful one. They carry lesser roles in the packs. You two have been touched by the heavens and are wolves of legend, Alpha's above all others. What you know of the paranormal, supernatural, and preternatural world is just the very tip of the iceberg. The two of you will be rulers over the largest group of the five different classes of beings in our world. You have a lot to learn to be able to do the job you were chosen for and do it well."

"What are these five classes of beings?" Maura inquired. The enormity of their current situation was truly making itself known to both her and Jane.

"There are Lycans, Vampires, Elves, Magi, and Fae." Evie ticked off. "Most Lycans, except for the two of you, have a shorter lifespan than most of the other classes, but we are more prolific in our reproduction. It keeps our numbers higher than most of the other groups." She took in the looks of shock on both women's faces. "Don't worry, most of what humans’ think they know about our world is totally wrong. For instance, you both are now Lycans or what many humans would call werewolves. Neither of you have the urge to shift and eat people, and you can't just make anyone you want into a wolf if you did bite someone. Lycanthrope is a born condition, dormants are the products of Lycans mating or breeding with humans. Silver also doesn't really affect us much more than any other metal, although it stings more and can slow down the healing of a wound. Your average Lycan lifespan is about three hundred or so years. Magi's lifespan is about the same, but their numbers are not large, not all members of a Magi family are born with magical gifts. Vampires on the whole, live about 500 years, they are also not the undead. Most do have a problem being in the sun and some feed off of blood and emotions, but not exclusively so. They also need to eat just as you or I do. Like with Lycans only dormants can be awakened to become a true vampire. They can't just turn someone, any more than we can. Now Elves and Fae, they are the ones with the truly long lifespan. Some of them are practically immortal, just as you two now are. A member of their race can go centuries between the births of children in their family. I guess it is nature's way of helping keep the world from being overrun." Evie picked up her glass of ice tea, drinking and waiting for her new friends' reaction.

Maura and Jane both sat silent, each lost in their own thoughts.

"Sounds like it will take a while for us to learn everything we need to know, and we don't have a whole lot of time to do it in. We only have about a week and a half before we are expected back home and at our jobs. I am not sure how we are going to accomplish all that you are suggesting and get married all within the next ten days." Maura's mind was whirling. She tightened her hold on Jane's hand feeling more grounded immediately.

Jane sat silent, waiting. She could since there was more to come. She sat back, holding Maura's hand, indicating with her beer bottle for Marcus to continue.

Marcus was impressed with Jane's patience, he thought she would be a bit more explosive in her response to the news. "Well there is a way for you to get the time you need to grow fully into the leaders you have been chosen to become." He hesitated, this was going to be difficult to explain. "Have you ever heard the fairy tales about fairy mounds?"

Jane's eyebrow rose. "Really?"

Evie hid a smile behind her hand.

Maura sat forward in her seat. "My nanny used to read me tales about such things when I was a child. It was said that was where fairies lived and that if a human ever went there they would be old when they came back out, even if they only stayed there for a short time. However, if they stayed in the fairy mound and didn’t return they could live a very long time."

Marcus nodded. "Those tales aren't completely accurate, but not entirely inaccurate either."

"How so?" Maura asked.

"For one, they aren't really fairly mounds. They are portals into the land of the preternatural. The birthplace of the paranormal and supernatural. Humans and the preternatural have always existed, but because of our differences the land of Undrehiel was hidden and only accessible through portals scattered around the known world."

"Underhill? Am I going to run into Frodo if I go there?" Jane smirked.

Evie couldn't contain her laugh this time.

"Jane behave. Underhill and Undrehiel are not pronounced the same." Maura lightly scolded.

Jane only rolled her eyes smiling, she secretly loved it when Maura scolded her and often provoked it. "Whatever, please continue."

"The long and the short of it is, Lord Fenrir and Lady Vivienne instructed us to take you to Undrehiel to train and prepare. They even spoke to the members of the council of Undrehiel about the two of you. They are expecting you. You will each receive training that is suited to the position you will hold and your natural abilities. You will also have access to a section of the archival library that the former Lord Raven and Lady Snow left for their heirs, which is you two." Marcus put it all out there.

"We can't just disappear into this Undrehiel place. We both have family and friends who would worry and look for us." Jane stated. "And who the heck is Lord Raven and Lady Snow?"

"They are the original Lycans. The first heaven chosen black and white wolves. The only King and Queen the Lycans ever had. The ones you were told about by the God and Goddess." Evie answered.

"Yeah, I remember. Why were they called Raven and Snow?" Jane leaned forward propping her elbow on the table and her chin in her hand, her other still holding Maura's.

"Simple really, back then it was very dangerous to be thought of as something magical when you were in the human world, and the original chosen didn't want to cause trouble for themselves or the people around them. They went by their human names in the human world and everyone in Undrehiel began referring to them by Lord Raven and Lady Snow, because of their colors. The raven black of his coat when in wolf form and the white of the purest snow of her coat when in wolf form." Marcus explained, he had a feeling this was going to be a long afternoon.

"Raven and Snow, I like it." Maura smiled.

Evie smiled too. "Good, because they are already referring to the two of you by those names. The only difference is that Jane isn't male so Lord doesn't really fit. They call her Laird Raven. Laird in our world holds the same meaning as lord, but the title can be carried by either a male or a female."

"Laird Raven, sounds sexy." Maura teased, leaning over and kissing Jane on the cheek.

Jane quickly turned her head before Maura could move away, catching her lips for a quick kiss. "Why thank you Lady Snow, you have a lovely name as well." She grinned.

Maura's smile did not falter, only grew. Even with the seriousness of the conversation and the upheaval of their lives, she was happier than she had ever been. As long as she had Jane by her side she knew she could face whatever the future might bring.

Marcus was happy for the couple and hated to break the moment, but they had to get back to business. "About the whole disappearing part, your family and friends shouldn't even know you are gone. You can spend two days in Undrehiel and barely an hour will have gone by here. The general ratio is roughly every 1.15 minutes in the human world is one hour in Undrehiel. A year in Undrehiel is approximately a week in the human realm. Your family won't even know you weren't off enjoying yourself on vacation."

Evie bit her lip nervously. "Actually the two of you have been granted an addition four weeks to your vacation time by the BPD and the Medical Examiner's office. The Council of Undrehiel has connections everywhere in the human world, and it was easily accomplished. Especially, with the recent events you two went through and the positions you hold in your respective communities. That should give you plenty of time to fully assume your mantels and a period of adjustment when you return from Undrehiel."

"It seems like Fenrir and Vivienne have been busy for quite a while with setting all this up. It is beginning to feel like we don't have control over our own lives anymore." Jane rubbed the bridge of her nose with her free hand. Maura leaned heavily into Jane to comfort both of them, she very much agreed with Jane’s assessment.

"A great mantle of commitment, responsibility, and authority has been placed upon you both. I don't envy either of you the duties that have been set before you. I can only say that Evie and I will help you in any way we can, and so will our pack. Your existence and status within our world will remain hidden to all in the human realm until your return. It will be harder to keep it a secret from those in Undrehiel once you arrive. However, no one will bring that news out into the world of man before you are ready. Lord Fenrir and Lady Vivienne have insured it. The only ones in this world who know who you are is the ten of us here from my pack. We have been touched by the god and goddess, making it impossible for us to talk about the two of you, with or around others until the spell is released. Anyone who comes out of Undrehiel with knowledge of the two of you will be unable to convey that information in any way until the god and goddess release the enchantment. The heavens might have placed a great burden upon your shoulders, but they are also watching out for you. They are providing training in the skills and tools required to handle your new standing." Marcus wasn't sure there was much else that needed to be said for now. Jane and Maura needed time to take in all that they had learned so far.

"Why don't you take some time to think about all of this? We apparently have a wedding to put together before we embark on our journey into Undrehiel. I'll go call my friend and get the waiting period waved and Evie can show you the website for the Amherst Bed and Breakfast. It is a popular wedding spot in the area." Marcus received nods of agreement from all of the ladies and stood.

"Thanks Marcus and you as well Evie. A lot has also been asked of you. We appreciate your efforts to make this easier on us. We will mull over and discuss this new information and speak on it later. I for one would like to first focus on making my beautiful Lycan mate my wife in the world we were born in as well." Jane stood offering her hand to Marcus.

Marcus took her hand. He thought the gods and goddesses had chosen the Lycan leaders well. "It's been a pleasure. You are good people, and I can see why you were chosen. Now I better call my friend before he decides to take off work early, or something." He winked at the women. "You ladies have fun with your plans." He headed off in the direction of the bunk house where the pack was staying.

Jane turned to find that Evie had already brought out a digital tablet and was showing the Bed and Breakfast website to Maura. The detective was very glad they weren't going to have a big gaudy wedding.

"Oh Jane look at this, we could be married in this gazebo on a hill overlooking the lake, or under an arbor in their beautiful garden, or even in front of a small waterfall from a creek fed by the nearby lake. I think that might be my favorite. See we could stand on the bridge over the creek at the bottom of the falls and exchange vows. It really is a beautiful spot and I believe it would suit us both." Maura gushed.

Jane leaned over her mate's shoulder looking at the pictures as Maura scrolled through. "I agree babe, the waterfall is my favorite too."

"That is settled then, now how long will it take you in Manhattan to pick up what you need? Also don't worry about having to contact the airlines to fly back. We arrived here in the company plane, we will simply all take it to New York and then on to the small airstrip we use near Amherst." Evie was having fun helping plan the little wedding.

"That is so generous of you, thank you. I can take mine and Jane's measurements and send them along with a few ideas for clothing to my personal shopper in Manhattan. I can also give her a few ideas about wedding rings we might be interested in, and she can take care of getting us a selection of those as well. It shouldn't take long to make any alterations for us. I am a very good customer. I already know what I would like to wear and what I would like to see Jane wear. I also have some ideas about the rings. I don't think either of us needs a big diamond to get in the way. I was thinking we could get eternity bands. I also thought it appropriate since we are going to be together until the end of time. I think we spend the day tomorrow in Manhattan, stay the night there, and leave the following morning for Amherst." Maura turned and kissed Jane who was still hovering at her shoulder. "Don't worry sweetie, I'm not going to make you wear a dress or heels."

"See, I just grow to love you more and more all the time." Jane smiled and kissed Maura again. "It sounds like you have everything under control here. I like your idea of the eternity bands. I know you two are probably going to want to talk about flowers and things and I will not be much help with that at all. I think I'll go spend some quality time with Jo Friday and maybe play a little ball on the beach with the others and leave you ladies to enjoy yourselves. You can take my measurements later dear, because I am positive it will lead to other things." Jane pressed her lips to Maura's one more time before giving the still seated ladies a small wave and swaggering off towards the beach to find Jo Friday.

"It's a good thing you claimed her so well. I’m claimed, married, and straight and I know that if I was single I would jump the fence for a chance to go out with her. The cocky grin and swagger just kind of set it all off doesn't it?" Evie said as they watched Jane walk away.

Maura laughed. "The funny thing is she gets noticed all the time by both men and women and she is usually oblivious to it. Jane is absolutely gorgeous and doesn't even see it. I really am lucky that we finally got together. And yes her grin and swagger are extremely sexy." She watched as Jane bent to gather up a very happy dog as she bounced about Jane's feet. "Now let's call the Amherst Bed and Breakfast and get the ball rolling." Maura and Evie put their heads together and went to work.

Jane with Jo Friday in tow approached Marcus, who had just closed his phone, with a little planning of her own in mind.

 

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A little longer than past chapters, I needed to do a little set up for things to come. Let me know what you think. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 11

Marcus and Jane both sat in rocking chairs on the porch of the bunk house, Jane closed Marcus' phone handing it back to him. "Thanks for helping set all that up. JeanAnne at the Bed and Breakfast is a really sweet woman and agreed not to let Maura know what I have planned."

He took the phone. "Yeah she really is great. I've known her all my life. She and her husband Jasper have been friends with my parents for over 200 years, they're family. I think you had a nice idea by the way, I think Maura will really like it."

Jane picked Jo Friday back up. "I hope so. I would do just about anything to make her happy."

"I understand. I feel the same about my Evie. They are both really special women. We are lucky bastards to have claimed 'em." He opened a cooler setting on the porch nearby pulling out a beer offering one to Jane.

She nodded in acceptance. "Thanks and yes we are both damn lucky." They sat in silence for a while watching the vigorous game of volleyball happening on the beach.

"Jane, I need to give you something that Lord Fenrir gave to me and instructed me to deliver to you when we were alone." He slid a heavy old fashioned linen envelope with a wax seal out of the big pocket of his cargo shorts. "I don't know what it is or what it's about. I didn't ask and I don't think he would have told me if I had." Marcus handed the envelope to Jane.

Jane took the envelope turning it over in her hands a few times. The seal had two wolves standing side by side on it. The front was addressed To Laird Raven. Use with all of our blessings. We take care of our own. Curious, Jane popped the seal and opened the envelope. She pulled out the heavy sheets of parchment style paper leaving only a little black card inside. The cop picked up the card before goggling at it. It was a freakin’ black Amex card with her name on it. What the hell? She secured the card back inside the envelope and opened the letter.

My dear little Raven,

Don't go all macho on us and not use that card. You are a King, chosen by us to rule a very powerful race of beings. With that responsibility comes status and wealth in the preternatural world. Wealth means nothing to us on the ethereal plain, we can make fortunes come and go with the flick of our fingers. Wealth is just another tool you will need to help perform your tasks. You and your lovely mate will inherit great riches, which have been lying in wait for you from the previous Lord Raven and Lady Snow who have travelled on to other realms on other adventures. You are their true heirs. Your inheritance became yours the moment the two of you shifted proving you were the next coming of the wolves of legend.

You my dear Raven are also going to gain wealth and status in the world of man. We on high can see some things in the future and this we know. We have had nothing to do with this situation, but we have been watching it for several years. This prosperity and status will come to you because of your good and loving heart, your compassionate nature, and your warrior spirit. And don't ask, I won't tell you more, I have probably already told you more than I should. Although I will tell you that Lady Snow's parents will not be able to complain about their daughter marrying beneath her. Alright, no more on that subject my curious wolf.

Now, take this card and purchase something nice for that mate of yours, take her out to a really nice dinner, and buy yourself some more clothes. I don't know if you have noticed, but you have gained muscle mass and definition, as well as a couple inches in height since you shifted. I would buy loose, because that will continue for a bit. You aren't going to be a stick figure any longer my dear, but a warrior. Don't worry though you will not bulk up like those body builder women. That just wouldn't be right on you at all. You will look more like those fitness models in the magazines and on television I have seen. Trust me you will stay sexy, just more badass. Lady Snow will love it. I don't know if you have noticed, but she really likes how strong you are, and spends an inordinate amount of time checking out your muscles and your long legs. I suppose that a woman should find her mate attractive. You spend a lot of time checking out her cleavage and backside, furthermore you nearly drool all over yourself while watching her walk around in those high heels you tease her about.

My dear Raven, we all know you and Lady Snow will work hard when you reach Undrehiel. Don't worry about that for the next few days. Now go enjoy your wedding. Be happy with your mate and wife. The rest will come as it will come.

Sincerely,

Your Favorite God on High,

Lord Fenrir

Wow! She had never even thought about money and being a King. God, it was so much to take in. She put the letter back in the envelope with the card before folding it and sliding it into her back pocket. She stood placing her little mop of a dog back down on the porch. The dog immediately ran off to join in the games on the beach. Jane shook her head smiling at the little canine’s antics. Jo really got on well with the Lycans that were there.

"That is rare you know." Marcus smiled as he followed her gaze, also watching the little dog.

"What?"

"Usually dogs are afraid of us. We can raise certain breeds from birth and they can make pretty good pets, but it is rare for a dog not raised around Lycans to be so at ease in our presence. She treats you no different now than she did before you became Lycan. That really is a special little pup you got there, and my pack members love her. I think they want to make her their mascot. It is a treat for them when she eagerly asks to be pet or licks their faces. They will all be fighting for the chance to be her dogsitter while you are in Undrehiel. It won't be safe to take her in with you. She would age too much for her short little canine life." Marcus chuckled as the little dog ran nipping at heals as it chased the ball around not the least bit afraid of the big bad wolves.

"I hadn't thought of that. I would appreciate it and it looks like she will be well taken care of." Jane put her hands on her hips, her fingers brushing up against the envelope in her pocket. "Marcus, I’m going to take a jog around the lake, clear some of the cobwebs from my brain. If Maura comes looking for me, could you let her know where I am and that I won't be gone long."

"Sure, no problem, take the time you need."

Jane waved before rounding the house heading off at a slow warm up jog along the path which meandered around the lake.

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Jane stepped out of the shower to find the love of her life waiting for her with a fluffy towel in her hands. It made things warm inside her from both the thoughtfulness of her mate and the heated look she was receiving.

"How was your run sweetheart?" Maura wrapped the towel around the dark haired woman's long tall frame. She always thought Jane was attractive, but she loved the additional muscular development.

"It was good, helped me clear my head a little." Jane began drying off.

Maura turned to the counter by the sink and picked a measuring tape.

Jane smiled seeing the look of anticipation on Maura's face. She finished drying off with a little help from Maura before draping the damp towel over the rod on the shower door. She stood as still as possible absorbing Maura's touch as she ran her talented hands over Jane's body, taking all kinds of measurements and recording them as she went along. Of course, her mate had come prepared, rarely was she not prepared for most things.

The thought turned Jane's mind back to all that was going on in their lives.

The change didn't go unnoticed by Maura, she finished her enjoyable task and sat her things aside. Her arms slid around her lover's delicious body drawing her close, resting her head on the taller woman's shoulder. "Are you ready to talk about it now?"

Moments ticked by. "I think we need to talk about it. I feel like our lives have been taken over. My mind is wrestling with so many questions, uncertainties, concerns, and conflicting emotions. I feel like I’m being tossed around on a raging sea." She leaned back looking into the beautiful hazel eyes of her mate. "You are my only calm in the storm. I would be a complete mess if not for you."

Rising up, Maura placed a gentle kiss on soft inviting lips, a kiss of comfort, of understanding, a kiss of reassurance. "We are in this together. You are also my rock to cling to in all of this." She shifted away. "Let's eat and talk. I can hear Evie calling me from the kitchen. A couple of guys ran into town and picked up some pizzas. I’ll bring ours up here. We can sit on the sofa, eat, and talk just like we do at home."

"I love you, babe. I am so damn lucky to have you in my life." Jane picked up Maura's robe from the back of the door slipping it on.

"I feel the same for you, Babe." Maura smiled over her shoulder as she headed out to get their food.

A chuckle escaped the taller woman at her lover's emphasis on babe. She felt more than lucky, she felt blessed.

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The couple sat together, shoulder to shoulder eating pizza. Maura's was accompanied with a nice glass of red wine and Jane was drinking beer from the bottle. The scene was one very familiar to them both except there was a new intimacy that wasn't there before. The uncertain feelings and sexual tension were gone, replaced with loving comfort and the promise of heated passion boiling under the surface. The situation relaxed and reassured both women.

Jane placed her empty plate on the coffee table and picked up the letter she had received earlier. She felt Maura's eyes shift to the envelope. "Marcus delivered this to me earlier. It's from Fenrir." She placed the letter in Maura's hand. "Go ahead, you can read it. I don't mind."

Maura read the front of the envelope and checked out the seal before slipping the heavy pages from their confines. She saw the black card left inside, her eyebrows rose when she saw what it was.

"Read the letter. It explains some, but also creates more questions." Jane stood and began cleaning up their dinner mess while Maura read. She ran the trash and left over pizza downstairs to the kitchen, her previous calm beginning to fray again.

Maura was sipping from her wine glass, the letter open before her on the coffee table. "I hadn't thought about it, but the money aspect does make sense. A kingdom cannot be successfully run without it." She fell silent again and watched as her lovely mate began to pace.

"A Kingdom Maura! A kingdom I am supposed to be the king of. What the sam hell do I know about being a ruler? This is not leading the occasional take down of a criminal. That usually doesn't ever involve more than ten cops, twenty if it is something really major. But really how often does that happen? This is leading a whole race of beings I didn't even know existed until a few days ago, when we became freaking Lycans ourselves. There must be thousands of Lycans all over the world and in Undrehiel, combined. I don't know how to do it. And if I do become their king can I still be a cop. Will I still want to be a cop? What about all this wealth and status stuff? I don't know how to walk in that world. I usually embarrass you when you take me to hobnob with the fancy people. You are about the only rich person I have met that I like. Well, I guess Marcus and Evie are rich too and I like them okay. However, from what I have experienced they are the exception not the rule." Jane continued to pace.

"I’m supposed to be this great guardian and warrior, a leader of armies. I have no clue how to do that or if I can even become all that. I do pretty good at kicking ass and I'm pretty good with a gun or rifle in my hand, but I have a feeling that putting a bullet in one of the variety of beings in the preternatural community would piss them off more than it would do any real damage." Jane stopped pacing and flung herself onto the bed landing on her back. Her eyes closed on a deep sigh. "I'm scared Maura." Jane whispered.

Maura sat a moment watching her now silent mate. She very much understood what Jane was going through, and how much courage it took for the other woman to admit her fear. The simple fact that they were going through this together was helping to keep Maura from breaking down into a mess.

She stood placing her wine glass on the table. Climbing up on the bed, she straddled Jane's hips before lying down upon her, hugging Jane close. "I have similar feelings. I am also uncertain about the future. I usually speak for the dead not the sick or injured, but now I am expected to be a great healer. I do worry about being able to do that. The scholar part I don't worry about too much, learning new things is something I have always enjoyed. I am to be your Queen and I worry about what all that entails. I may have grown up in a more aristocratic sort of world, but I never fit in. I was never comfortable." Maura kissed Jane on the first mark she had given her beautiful mate. "I'm scared too."

Jane wrapped her strong arms around the amazing woman above her, holding her close. "I will always do everything in my power to take care of you and keep you safe Maura. We are partners in this life, no matter what it brings our way. Being able to share with you like this helps more than I can express." She kissed the top of Maura's head. "The one thing in all this that doesn't scare me is making you my wife. I know we are mated for all time by Lycan standards, but until a few days ago we were both fully human. I still feel mostly human. I feel the need to stand up with you before witnesses and exchange vows, declaring my love for you, making you mine as I become yours. Having you become my wife is a dream come true for me."

A happy tear slipped from Maura's eye. Jane normally kept so much to herself, to have Jane open up with her was a precious gift. "Beyond anything else going on in our life becoming your wife and you becoming mine means the most to me. And rest assured, I will do everything in my power to take care of you, as well."

Jane rolled, placing Maura below her. "I think we should take Fenrir's advice and not worry about what's going to happen once we reach Undrehiel. We should enjoy each other and our wedding. We can deal with the rest when the time comes."

Maura nodded, sliding her hands into Jane's wild mane. She pulled her down where their lips merged, tongues slowly dueling. The lovemaking was slow and caring. Each expressing their love and devotion with every caress as they worshipped one another. No words were spoken, none where needed. They let their bodies and actions speak for them. The only sounds to be heard in their room that night were those of shared passion and ecstasy.

After several hours of slow, yet mind blowing lovemaking, the two lovebirds fell asleep in each other's embrace while still buried within one another, connected in one of the most intimate of ways.

 

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A little shorter than the previous chapter, but what did you think. I will let you know now that the wedding doesn't happen till chapter 13. Please continue reading and reviewing. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER TWELVE

The morning came much too soon, but after a vigorous and very pleasing shower together, Jane and Maura were quickly packed and ready to go. They were leaving the SUV they rented at the cabin. Maura arranged for it to be taken back to the rental agency by the son of the couple who took care of the cabin property for her.

The only thing that slowed them down upon leaving was getting Jo Friday rounded up. The dog thought it grand fun to be chased around by the big Lycans. Finally, Jane stepped in after having a good laugh at her little dog's antics. She knelt and snapped her fingers. The little dog leapt into her arms licking her face happily. Jane pulled the little pup away from her face. "Yeah, yeah, I love you too Jo!" She scruffed the little mop on the neck before helping to load her into her carrier for the drive to the airport.

It wasn't long before they arrived in Manhattan. Maura and Jane went directly to their meeting with Maura's personal shopper, Mandy. Marcus and the others headed to the hotel to check them all in for the night. In no time, Maura fell in love with one of the dresses Mandy had picked out. She looked fabulous in it. The tailor only wanted to make minor adjustments. It was handed to one of his assistants who was to get to work on it immediately.

Jane was glad they were going for a less formal look for their small ceremony. Although, everything they would both be wearing would be designer and tailored. They were planning for a more relaxed atmosphere at the wedding and the comfortable, yet elegant clothing, would go well in the outdoor setting. They were both going with sandals, Jane's would be flat soled whereas Maura's wide heeled sandal would add a few inches to her height.

Jane also tried on a few other items of clothing besides those for the wedding. Maura had her trying on slacks, jeans, blouses, blazers, t-shirts, and any other items Maura felt she needed for her new more filled out frame, not to mention taller physique. They also left a little room for added growth. It seemed the detective’s body was already preparing to become that of a true battle warrior and leader. Lunch was delivered as Jane was being poked and prodded again by the tailor, but she sucked up any discomfort because Maura was having such a blast.

After they ate Mandy brought out a large selection of rings for them to peruse. They found the ones they liked and Maura insisted that Jane get the wider double ring band. "They look great on your long fingers. They suit your larger hands much better than the single ring. My hand is smaller than yours and looks better with the single band."

"I think yours would look good with two of these slimmer bands doubled, it would only be the tiniest bit wider than the single band. It would look beautiful on your smaller, yet very capable hand, and our bands would match well together." Jane suggested sliding two of the thinner bands together on Maura's finger, so it would look similar to the one larger ring she wore. "What do you think?"

Maura grinned, quickly kissing Jane. "I think that is a perfect idea." She turned to Mandy. "Do you think the jeweler can do this for us and have the rings ready in the morning?"

"I’m sure he can, he said he would have no problem doing so if we delivered your choices back to him by two."

Maura and Jane finished choosing stone sizes and styles and the band style they liked. They were each going to be carrying several carats worth of diamonds on their finger, but there would be no single large diamond to get hung up on things. Mandy left personally to take care of the rings. Jane and Maura were soon finished with their clothing selections and arranged to have everything, except for the few items they were taking with them, delivered to their hotel early the next morning.

They made it to the hotel that Marcus and Evie had checked them all into. They were barely in the door when Evie came in. "Alright, I have scheduled a full spa treatment for myself, Maura, Carlita, Ashley, and Tony." Evie and Maura both laughed at Jane's happy sigh as her name was not on the list. "Jane, Marcus and the rest of the guys will be taking you out for the afternoon. There is some private boxing exhibition that is apparently a very hot ticket, happening this afternoon. We will all be meeting back here and be ready for our dinner reservations at 8. We are taking the two of you out this afternoon and evening, our treat. Now get ready, you have thirty minutes before Marcus and I will be back to get you." With that she was out the door.

"Oh this is going to be fun. I guess this is like a bachelorette or bachelor party sort of thing. You better change dear. I think you look great in those shorts, but I don't want a bunch of pumped up men ogling your bare legs." Maura started pushing Jane towards the bathroom. "I only need to freshen up a bit because I will be in a spa towel or robe all afternoon."

"Just make sure none of your spa therapists get too handsy with you. I might be tempted to hunt them down and introduce them to Laird Raven." Jane growled spinning Maura and pinning her to the wall. The Lycan King kissed her mate hard and deep until they were forced to come up for air.

"I'll do my best." Maura panted.

"Good, I find I have a hard time thinking about someone else with their hands on you." Jane stepped back and began pulling off her clothes.

Maura leaned against the wall enjoying the view. "I assure you the feeling is mutual."

Leaving the bathroom, Maura picked up the bags that they had returned with. She picked out a pair of dark blue designer jeans, a deep purple button down sleeveless blouse, and a black under shirt. She went through the bags until she found a new pair of black boots and a matching belt. She nodded, Jane would look good, but wouldn't be showing off too much. She'd just laid the outfit out on the bed when Jane stepped out of the bathroom with a hint of make-up on, her hair gleaming, and a trace of perfume scenting the air. She now wore a black lace bra and a pair of lacy boy-cut panties. ‘Oh wow!’ Maura wished she was a painter; she would spend a lifetime trying to capture Jane on canvas. The woman in front of her was a goddess.

"I could always call Evie and cancel." Maura stated as she approached the dark haired beauty. She couldn't not touch.

Jane moaned as Maura's hands traced down her body. "As tempting as that is sweetheart it would disappoint the others, and they have been really good to us. Also, I know you will have a good time at the spa."

Maura sighed, burrowing into Jane's neck. "I know." She stepped away reluctantly. "You better hurry and dress before I forget all of that."

Jane laughed a little when she saw Maura had picked out an outfit for her to wear. She quickly dressed and decided Maura had done a good job with the clothes. "Do I look alright?"

"You look HOT!" Maura said doing her best Giovanni impersonation.

Jane laughed. "You can be such a nut, Maura. I love that about you." She pulled Maura to her again, she would never get enough of the woman.

They were forced to come up for air by a knock at their door. Marcus and Evie had arrived. Maura handed Jane a well fitted short black leather jacket. It really made the outfit pop. Jane grabbed her cell phone, id, her new black Amex, and some cash. She was set.

Maura shook her head. She couldn't understand how any woman could go anywhere without a purse.

"It's a boxing match with the guys, I don't need a purse." Jane rolled her eyes, reading the smaller woman's thoughts.

Maura grabbed her rather large purse and opened the door. "We’re all set."

The group walked down to the lobby together, in front of the hotel two limos waited. One pearly white, the other midnight black. The guys began loading into the black limo and the ladies and Tony began loading into the white one. Marcus and Evie shared a kiss before climbing into their respective limos.

"Have fun watching the tough men beat each other up." Maura kissed Jane.

Jane returned the kiss, enjoying the pleasure of getting to kiss the woman she loved in full view of the world. "I'm sure I will. You have a good time at the spa with our new friends." Jane helped Maura into the limo, wishing the others a good time as well before heading up to the black limo and climbing in.

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Maura and the gang who went to the spa arrived back at the hotel at half past six. They were all smiling and feeling refreshed. They were the first ones back. They all split to their rooms. Maura took her time getting dressed up for dinner. She was glad more of their clothing purchases had arrived. She found the Escada dress she had bought for herself. The mixed rose colored fabric looked good on her. The dress fit to her curves stopping just below the knee, it had capped sleeves and draped at the neckline. She slipped on her strappy vamp rose gold Caparros sandals with the three inch heel. She checked herself out in the mirror. Yes, she looked good. Jane wouldn't be able to keep her eyes off of her.

Maura hung Jane's dress on the back of the bathroom door, and sat her shoes on the counter before looking at the clock. Jane was going to have to rush to be ready on time.

Jane rushed through the door as Maura was leaving the bathroom. "Sorry we were late." She was already stripping her clothes off as she came across the room. She paused in mid strip when she looked at Maura. "Oh man, you look amazing, sweetheart. I may strut a little tonight having such a beautiful woman at my side. Just a warning, I don't think I’ll be able to help myself." The tall woman grinned, her eyes already full of lust. It was going to be a long night.

Maura laughed enjoying her lover's reaction. "Your dress is on the back of the door, shoes on the counter." She pointed towards the bathroom. "Now get in there and change. Evie is going to be knocking on our door in a few minutes."

It was Maura's turn to stare when Jane reemerged from the bathroom in an emerald v-necked sleeveless Zac Posen dress with a pleated skirt. Her hair and make-up had been freshened. She was wearing black Ferragamo pumps with an open toe and a little bow across the top. Jane's legs were bare from above the knee down and looked like they went on for miles. "It appears we will be strutting together tonight. Jane you look fabulous." Maura also enjoyed how the dress showed off Jane's long neck and toned shoulders and arms. The dark haired woman looked fit and sexy as hell.

Jane smiled. The look on Maura's face made wearing the dress and heels worth it. "I love you, babe. We better get our things together. I know we bought a little clutch purse that matches this dress. I need to put my things in it."

Maura handed her the clutch, already loaded with all of her things. The shorter woman had gotten them out of Jane's pockets as she picked up the clothes Jane dropped as she hurried to the bathroom to clean up.

"Thank you. I don't know what I would do without you." Jane took the clutch and kissed the love of her life.

"You would be late." Maura said as they parted.

"Probably." Jane said as she took Maura's hand and they left the room. Everyone was meeting in the lobby.

When they reached the elevator they ran into Tony and Warren dressed in tailored dark suits. "Wow you two look fantastic!" Warren said.

"Thank you, you two look quite handsome yourselves. Are we the last ones?" Maura asked.

"Yes, but not by much. The elevator doors closed behind the others just seconds before you joined us. The elevator was full so we are waiting for the next one. I can't stand cramped elevator cars." Tony added with a shiver.

Minutes later they were joining everyone else in the lobby. Marcus looked over as the elevator doors opened up and Jane and Maura stepped off. Many eyes from around the lobby zoomed to the two gorgeous women. "They make an amazing couple."

Evie and Ashley followed his gaze. "They really do. They will make great leaders and representatives for our class." Evie said.

Hand in hand the powerful couple approached the group. "My, doesn't everyone look so beautiful and handsome. This group may stop traffic when we step outside." Jane winked at Evie.

Evie laughed. "We were thinking the same about you guys. Come on everyone, the limo awaits."

This time they all entered into a long black stretch Hummer limo. It had plenty of room to hold all the large Lycan males and the mostly smaller women.

"We have reservations in the private dining gallery at Empire Steakhouse. I thought their menu diverse enough to please everyone here." Evie announced.

"I have heard the food is delicious and the atmosphere lovely. I haven't had a chance to eat there yet. Whenever I’m in the city with my mother she usually prefers French cuisine." Maura said as conversation continued around them. Everyone was in a jovial mood and it seemed like they all were going to have a good time.

Their party was shown to the private dining gallery upon their arrival at the restaurant. Many heads turned to see the large group of beautifully dressed men and women make their way up the stairs to the gallery.

Seafood platter appetizers were shortly brought out for everyone to begin with, along with white wine. Evie had arranged it earlier when she pulled a few strings and acquired their reservations.

Jane read over her menu. "What are you getting?" she asked Maura. "I think I’m going for the prime rib and those delicious looking fried onion rings."

"Jane you have to have something healthy, too. I think I am going to try the Chilean sea bass with steamed asparagus. Why don't you share the empire salad for two with me?" Maura placed her hand on Jane's arm as she spoke.

Jane knew she couldn't say no. She was so whipped. The detective knew it, but couldn't find any real reason to complain about it. She was too happy. "Alright, sounds good to me." Jane looked around, it really was a nice place and she liked the two walls of windows that gave them a view of the lit up streets outside.

"How did the spa treatment go for everyone? Did you all have a good time?" Marcus asked.

"It was lovely. I so enjoy the relaxing and recuperative powers of a good spa treatment." Maura took a sip of her wine.

"It was a blast." Ashley said. "You should have seen this one woman flirting with Tony. She was going at him strong too. That is until Maura told her she better be careful, because if his lover, Warren, was as protective as her fiancé, she could get herself in some serious trouble."

The table dissolved into laughter. "Well it's true." Maura stated. The laughter continued.

Warren put his arm around Tony. "Thank you Lady Maura for protecting my man for me, sometimes he is just too good looking for his own good." He grinned wide winking at his lover.

"What about you guys, did all of you have a good time at your boxing match?" Evie asked while everyone made short work of the appetizers. Lycans had large appetites.

"It was a blast. De La Hoya was there, so were Sugar Ray Leonard and Evander Holyfield. Many big names in business, sports, and entertainment were there. We met Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Jack Nicholson even tried to pick up Jane." Kendar said.

"That is really not all that flattering." Jane added. "The man is old enough to be my grandfather or maybe even my great grandfather and he hasn't held up nearly as well as Sean Connery has."

That got everyone laughing again. The conversation and laughter continued as they all shared a wonderful meal together.

"Maura, I know we discussed our family and friends not being at our wedding tomorrow and I am okay with that. However, I have been thinking about what we will have to deal with when we return. I think I may have come up with a solution to help appease our family and friends a bit if you are agreeable." Jane said in a quiet moment before the dessert arrived.

"What is your idea?"

"Well, I ran it by Warren, who is a techie head even more so than Frost. He said he could run our end and a few buddies of his from Wolfe Security would be happy to help us back in Boston." Jane hoped Maura didn't think her idea was stupid. "I was thinking we buy an electronic tablet like you and Evie were using yesterday and set it up with live video capability. We buy one each for your parents, my mom, my brothers, Korsack, Frost, and Cynthie Castle, and anyone else you would like. They would be delivered to our closest friends and family by some of Marcus' pack members shortly before the ceremony begins. The pack member will stay with whoever they deliver our special invitations to, to make sure everything comes through okay. Those closest to us can watch us get married live via the internet. They won't know where we are and can't gainsay us, but they can still be a part of the day."

Maura sat stunned. Sometimes Jane surprised her. "That is a marvelous idea. I would have never thought of it. They can be there and not be there at the same time. Brilliant." She kissed her lover, not caring that all were watching and whistling.

When Maura pulled back Jane stated loudly. "I’m definitely going to have to be brilliant more often." The table roared again. The rest of the meal was spent talking about the logistics of pulling off their plan on such short notice. Jane thought she just might sometimes find it useful after all to have a black Amex card at her disposal.

Everyone was jovially waiting for their limo to arrive when Maura turned as she heard her name being called. A blond haired blue eyed man with his carbon copy standing beside him quickly approached. Maura thought they looked familiar, but couldn't place them or where she might know them from. They too were leaving the restaurant. Jane, who was standing near Warren answering a question, looked up as well when she heard the stranger calling out to her mate.

"Hello, Dr. Isles. I don't know if you remember me or not. I was at the medical conference in Chicago earlier this year. I saw you speak there. My name's Matt and this is my brother Max. We are both surgeons and we were really impressed with what you had to say. I was wondering if you would like to go have a drink with us. I noticed you had a single friend with you." He paused, indicating Jane. "She could come along and round out the party. I’m sure she and Max would get along great." His smile was full of confidence and seemed a little practiced to Maura. Even if she had been single, she wouldn't date the guy or his equally smarmy looking brother. Smarmy? Jane was certainly expanding her vocabulary in interesting ways, but smarmy about summed the twins both up.

"I am glad you enjoyed my speech at the conference, but I am afraid I don't remember seeing either of you there. I am also out with friends and not interested in going out to drinks with you." Maura tried to be polite. Both men stood up straight as Jane glided to the doctor’s side. The twins were trying to appear taller next to her taller fit lover, who easily had a couple of inches on both of them.

Max and Matt looked Jane up and down. "Are you a model? Because you certainly look like you could be." Max said to her.

Jane looked down on the duo. "You've got to be kidding me. Does that line ever actually work?"

"Jane." Maura reprimanded, winking at her letting her know she didn't really mean it. The twins' advances were not welcome and poorly delivered.

Matt stepped closer to Maura. The Lycans behind them saw Maura's claiming marks glowing gold, indicating she was not interested and off limits, but the two idiots were human and couldn't see the signs. Jane's marks began to glow too when the other twin stepped closer to her.

"Why don't we get together tomorrow then? We could catch a bite to eat and go to a hot Latin dance club we know of. We could really get to know one another on the dance floor." Matt shifted closer to Maura.

"No thank you, we are not interested and are planning on leaving town tomorrow." Maura stepped back from the repulsive man.

"Come on, stay another night, we can make it worth your while. Have the two of you ever shared twins before? We really are very good." Matt moved to close the distance between him and Maura, his hand extended to touch her arm. He was stopped abruptly, when a long toned arm smacked into his shoulder pushing him back a step.

"I strongly advise you to walk away and walk away now. You may even want to run. Because if one more word comes out of either of your vile mouths, or if either of you try to lay your diseased hands on my woman or me again, I will make sure both of you are in dire need of a trauma surgeon. Do I make myself clear?"

Both men stared at the tall pissed off beauty. She looked like she was in very good shape and if the look on her face was any indication, she would be able to deliver on her threat. Both men nodded and started to slowly step away.

Jane took a menacing step towards them. "Run." She stated forcefully instinctively putting a bit of alpha command in her voice. Both men quickly turned and did as they were told. Jane took a calming breath before turning back to her lover and their friends. All had grins on their faces.

"What?" She lifted her hands. What had they expected her to do, she certainly wasn't going to put up with dumb and dumber any longer.

"That was awesome." Warren laughed.

"Heck I would have run too." Tony teased.

Jane only shook her head and grinned.

Maura stepped up close next to her, sliding her arm around Jane's back, and Jane put her arm around Maura holding her close at her side. "I had planned on us waiting until after the wedding before we made love again, but now that idea is totally blown out the window. I can't wait to get you back to the hotel room now!"

Everyone busted out laughing.

Jane groaned, smiling. "Well, I guess something good came out of the encounter after all." Jane smirked and kissed her mate as laughter continued to bubble around them.

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Jane was first through the hotel room door. Maura followed calling goodnight to their friends before shutting the door. Jane didn't wait. She pressed Maura against the door passionately kissing her. The tall beauty slowly began unzipping Maura's dress. She broke the kiss and looked down at her lover's magnificent body as she slid the dress off of the smaller woman. She picked up the garment as Maura stepped out of it. "You in this dress has been driving me insane with lust all night." She tossed the item across a nearby chair. Maura looked delicious in matching rose colored lace bra and panty set. Jane quickly unzipped her own dress, stripping it off and tossing it to join Maura's across the chair.

The powerful alpha moved back into her smaller mate, picking her up as she pressed her woman into the door. Maura reacted instantly by wrapping her legs around the taller woman's trimmed waist. She rubbed her highly aroused center against firm sculpted abs.

Jane growled low at the feel of the searing heat against her stomach. Her mouth devoured Maura's while she quickly stripped the honeyed ginger of her bra. Maura was busy doing the same to Jane. The women growled together as their naked breasts kissed as their bras were tossed aside.

Jane's hands and mouth were everywhere. Her wolf rode her heavy. She needed to take her fiancé and make her scream for her. No one else would ever touch her mate in such a way except her ever again.

Maura could feel how close Jane and her wolf were to each other in that moment and it touched something within her. Maura and her wolf both wanted and needed to be taken, overtaken by their mate.

Jane spun and strode to the bed placing Maura on the edge, her legs hanging off the side. Jane knelt between Maura's sexy legs and looked up the luscious body, until her eyes met Maura's. Her hands rose gripping the pink lace panties and ripping them in two, sending the tattered remains flying somewhere behind her.

Maura arched at the dominant act and felt more wetness escape her body. She needed Jane so much in that moment. The smaller woman opened herself more offering herself to her mate, inviting her lover to take.

Jane did. She dove into Maura's amazing heat, her tongue delving deep. Her arms were strong around Maura's legs and stomach, holding her firm. She devoured and took, glorying in the screams and moans of her lover as she brought her spilling over the crest of passion again and again. Finally, she brought Maura to the brink of climax repeatedly, not allowing her to go over. She gazed up Maura's body, enjoying the view of her heaving breasts, as her body and mouth begged for release.

Maura met Jane's gaze with passion filled eyes. Her juices gleamed on Jane's face. It was one of the sexiest things the doctor had ever seen.

"You are mine aren't you Maura?"

"Yes, God, yes." Maura was shaking with her need for release.

Jane's tongue slipped out stroking Maura's clit as the fair haired woman watched. Seeing Jane's tongue pleasing her wound Maura tighter. She felt a slick finger begin rubbing against her lower puckered entrance, pressing but not entering. Maura had been curious about what it would be like to be taken there, but had never trusted anyone enough to satisfy her curiosity. She trusted Jane though, she wanted Jane to touch her as no one else ever had. She tilted her hips into the erotic touch. Another shiver ran across her body as Jane growled at her invitation.

"Tell me. Tell me who you belong to."

Maura felt the finger continue to press, but not enter her. She felt more of Jane's fingers stroking the entrance to her core as well, but still not entering. Not filling her as she so desperately needed. "Yours. I am yours, Jane. All of me, yours!" Her body began to shake with the force of her climax as Jane's single finger took her as no one had before. Simultaneously, she felt Jane fill her aching core, pressing on the sweet spot within, as her lips sucked Maura’s erect clit firmly into her mouth while growling. Maura came hard screaming until she was hoarse. She was Jane's, Jane owned all of her and Maura gave it willingly. Her body rocked over the peak one last time, her last thought before the darkness closed in around her was ‘I'm Jane's. All Jane's.’

Jane felt Maura's body give out just after her last orgasm crested. Easing out of her mate's precious heat, and lifting her, she pulled back the covers and placed her in the middle of the bed. Going into the bathroom Jane wet two washcloths with warm water and pulled off her own sodden panties. She shook her head in disbelief. She had actually had an orgasm from giving her mate pleasure and hearing her woman declare she belonged to her. Jane washed herself up before taking the remaining wet washcloth and a clean towel to the bedroom cleaning Maura and drying her body off. The towel and washcloth were soon tossed onto the bathroom floor under the sink. She checked the locks on the hotel room door before eagerly climbing into bed with her sleeping sated mate. Jane placed a kiss on her lady’s forehead before pulling her close resting Maura's head on her shoulder. Jane's last thought before she drifted off, was that the next night at that time Maura would be her lawfully wedded wife. The detective fell asleep with a pleased smile on her face.

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The following morning was a little hectic. Mandy showed up early with the rings, and the tailor delivered their remaining clothes shortly afterwards. Maura, of course, went over every delivery with a fine tooth comb before she Okayed everything to be packed up. Jane hadn't realized they had purchased so much. They needed an extra vehicle for everyone and their new additional luggage to make it back to the plane.

Jo Friday had stayed the night with Tony and Warren and Jane hadn't seen her since she had left for the boxing match the day before. She could only stare when she saw the little dog. "What did you do to Jo?"

"She went for her own spa treatment yesterday. She received a wash and trim, got her nails done, the whole nine yards. I think the bows look adorable. She is all dolled up for our wedding." Maura smiled down at Jo making cutesy noises.

Jane felt her dog was getting entirely too spoiled by all their new friends. They all doted on Jo like she was a princess. Jane rolled her eyes at the two before turning and walking away to see how Warren was coming along with their special wedding invitations for their closest family and friends.

Because they had gotten such an early start, they made it to the large historic Amherst Bed and Breakfast Inn shortly after ten that morning. JeanAnne and Jasper came out the front to greet them all. They shook hands and hugged all of their old friends, glad to see them staying at their place again. The Inn was only going to have their party for guests for the next few days. There wouldn't be any norms around so everyone could be themselves.

"JeanAnne, Jasper, let me introduce you both to some good friends of ours. This is Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles. They are our happy couple, soon to be newlyweds." Marcus indicated each woman in turn.

"It is a pleasure to meet you both in person. I spoke with Maura on the phone yesterday. Now, don't you worry about a thing. I have my daughter and son-in-law helping us out getting everything together, along with a few of my grandkids. The flowers arrived earlier and the cake and food, for after the wedding, are all going to be arriving on time a little later. Tables and chairs have been set up on the back lawn near the garden. We have put together a fine little wedding for the two of you. My sister, Jacqueline, is our packs Omega and our Shaman. She has agreed to perform the services. She has performed many weddings, preternatural and human. You will be in good hands." JeanAnne spoke quickly.

Jane was impressed with how much the woman could say without taking but one breath the whole time she was speaking. She was pleased that JeanAnne hadn’t mentioned talking to her also the day before. "It is nice to meet you." Jane shook the older woman's hand. "It sounds like you have everything well under control. We appreciate you helping us put this all together so fast."

The woman beamed up at Jane, her salt and pepper curls bouncing as she spoke. "Oh it’s our pleasure. I just love weddings and you brought my godson Marcus and his wife Evie out to see us in the process. That is a bonus for us, we don't see them nearly enough. I also get to visit with a few members of our pack that I don't get so see much of either. It is going to be like a family affair." JeanAnne beamed.

Jasper put his arm around his bubbly wife and shook hands with the women. "Welcome to our Inn. Any friend of Marcus and Evie’s is a friend of ours. You two call us JeanAnne and Jasper like everyone else. I don't want to hear any Mr. or Mrs. stuff out of you either of you. Now, let us show you upstairs to the rooms where you can get cleaned up and dressed. We will be making a light lunch in about an hour. Let's also get your bags upstairs so you can start getting your things set-up for later."

Jane looked at Maura. She was beaming and almost as bubbly as JeanAnne. "I am so excited Jane! We are going to be married in just a few hours."

"I know love. I can't wait. Let's bring in the bags we will need and get things organized. We want to make sure we have everything we need when it’s time." Jane joined hands with Maura as they turned to help the others unload vehicles.

 

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Leaving you hanging here a bit, don't worry, the next chapter will be coming shortly. I hope you enjoyed this one. Let me know what you think. Thanks again to all of you who read and those who review. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Maura stood in front of the antique mirror. She was getting married very shortly to the most amazing person she had ever met in the world. She loved Jane more than she ever dreamed possible, and the most extraordinary thing about it all was that the woman she loved so much felt the same way about her in return. Maura smiled at Evie in the mirror. "Thank you for helping me to get dressed. I’m so excited, I think I might run all the way down to the waterfall." She giggled.

Evie laughed. "That would be a story to tell your grandkids someday." Evie put her closed palm in front of Maura and opened it. A pair of antique earrings encrusted with pearls, diamonds, and blue sapphires glittered before her. "Many of the women of my family have worn these when they were married. I thought you could wear them, too. They are old, they are barrowed, they have something blue in them, and they will look lovely with your dress and your other jewelry."

"They are beautiful. I didn't even really think about that tradition. Thank you so much for letting me barrow these for my wedding." She slid them in her ears, they did look lovely. "Hmmm, I suppose my dress and shoes can count as something new. I had planned on wearing jewelry that I already owned."

Evie only smiled pulling a large velvet box from behind her back. Chanel was written across the top. "I do believe the something new is in this box." She slowly opened it to reveal the contents.

Maura gasped. A beautiful strand of pearls with a strand of diamonds wrapped around it lay inside. A small bow made of white gold and encrusted with a few more little diamonds hung delicately from the diamond strand of the necklace. A matching bracelet lay in the middle of the necklace. It was two strands of cultured pearls attached to a center white gold bow encrusted with both black diamonds and white diamonds. The set was beautiful. "Where did you get these? They are lovely. They will go great with my dress."

"These are the reason your fiancé was in such a hurry to get ready for dinner last night. She and the men got out of their boxing match much earlier than we did the spa. She made them stop by a few jewelers on the way back to the hotel until she found something she liked for you. Marcus told her I was going to lend you my earrings and she wanted you to have something new and something special from her."

Maura fought the tears that tried to fall, not wanting to ruin her make-up. She breathed deep to calm herself down. Her tough mate had such a soft and loving heart. "Can you help me put them on?" Maura hoped Jane liked the earrings and cuff links she purchased for her.

Evie sat the box on a little table by the mirror and carefully removed each piece putting them on Maura. "You are a beautiful bride." The redhead sighed as she gazed at the completed picture in the mirror.

Ashley had been quietly recording everything since a dressed Maura stepped in front of the mirror. She was working with Warren to film the wedding. For now she was filming for the wedding video, but in a few minutes she would be sending live footage out to their special internet guests. They were going to have two to three cameras going at all times. One focused on Jane, one on Maura, and one on the overall goings on.

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Jane was about to put her white tailored dress shirt on over her silky undershirt when a knock sounded at her door. She was getting dressed in a room on the other side of the large old house from Maura. "Who is it?"

"Marcus and Warren, is it safe for us to come in yet?" Marcus asked, Jane could hear the smile in his voice.

"Yeah, come on in." She slid her arms into her shirt as they walked in.

"Good you haven't got your shirt buttoned up yet." Marcus said.

"Why is that good?" She would not hesitate to pop him if she didn't like his answer.

Marcus laughed knowing exactly what that look meant. "It's nothing untoward, I promise." He opened an elegantly carved wooden and ivory box. Inside lay a gold and silver arm band with what looked like Celtic symbols worked into the metals. "This band has been worn during many sacred rights by the Alphas of my clan for generations. Marriage is one of those sacred rights. My clan would be honored if you would wear this band for the exchanging of your vows today."

Jane loved the band. It looked somehow strong and powerful to her. "Yes, I would wear it proudly. Which arm do I wear it on?"

"Your right."

Jane pulled her right arm back out of her shirt. Marcus placed the cuff around her bicep. Jane felt the band mystically contract until it fit firmly, but not too tightly to her muscled arm. She could feel a little bit of what she could only believe was magic tingling her skin. "Now that was seriously cool."

"The cuff will loosen and you will be able to slide it off the morning following your wedding."

"Thank you, I will take good care of it while it is in my possession. Now I have blue on my new necklace and my suspenders and I have something barrowed and old. I just need to find my earrings and cufflinks and I will be all set."

"Maura sent these for you." Warren handed her a small box containing awesome earrings that looked like strands of diamonds woven into a large knot or maybe it was a rose. Either way the look was stunning. Sitting below the earrings were a pair of cuff links that reminded Jane of the white wolf mystically tattooed on Maura's inner hip. The eyes of the white gold wolf were made of small diamonds. They were awesome, as well.

Jane laughed. "Earrings and cuff links, an interesting combination. I love how Maura's mind works."

Jane put on the earrings and finished putting on her shirt, leaving it open at the collar showing the necklace at her throat. Marcus helped her get the cufflinks in place. She tucked her shirt in neater than she ever had before in her life then pulled her black suspenders with the dark blue strip down the middle up onto her shoulders. She looked at herself in the mirror set up in the corner of the room and thought she didn't look half bad. The outfit didn't make her look masculine in anyway. She thought the cut and style of the pants and shirt actually made her long tall fit frame look kind of elegant and graceful in a sort of a Lauren Bacall or Katherine Hepburn type style. The suspenders just gave the look a little bit of flair and fun. She would never tell Maura, but maybe she should have her mate pick out her clothes more often. Carlita had worked with the detective to get her hair pulled up away from her face and trail in soft waves down her back very reminiscent of the Bacall and Hepburn days. Her make-up wasn't heavy, but it finished out the look. The Lycan Laird was pleased. Jane turned to the men and Carlita, Warren now filming her. "I'm ready."

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Meanwhile, in Boston Korsak and Frost were finishing their shifts. Angela Rizzoli was waiting for her son Frankie to pick her up from work because she had loaned her car to a friend for the evening. Tommy Rizzoli was popping open a beer from his mother's refrigerator while sitting on her couch to watch television. Cynthi Castle was sitting in her comfy chair in the corner of the coffee shop she lived near. Remarkably, Constance Isles and her husband were together, it was one of the rare opportunities they had to spend an evening alone with one another. Shortly before 6pm couriers dressed in well-cut suits began delivering their special invitations. Almost to a word the couriers said the same thing.

"Good evening. I have a special invitation for you from Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli. They would like you to share a special moment with them and sent these iPads so you can be there with them via the internet." No one turned downed the invitation, they were too curious to know what was going on.

Korsak and Frost, who had just stepped out of the cop shop, saw that Frankie and Angela Rizzoli were getting invitations too. The four went back into the precinct and found an empty conference room. Their couriers helped them get set-up the tablets before sending a text to Warren that their invites were accepted and ready.

Cynthi Castle smiled at the handsome young man that delivered her invite, she hoped it was for what she thought it was for. The elder woman had been telling Jane for ages to stop being afraid and go for it. That girl had fallen for the Doc the first day they met. She watched as a picture came into view on her screen and saw her courier sending a text message.

The Isles' led the gentlemen into Professor Isles' den. They were actually able to hook up one of the iPads to a very large monitor hanging in the room. Soon they were all sitting at the ready, Constance with her iPad still in her lap. They watched as both the little screen she held and the large screen came to life. Their couriers also sent a text message.

The courier who delivered Tommy’s invite was not impressed in the least the young man, but set the table up quickly and handing it to the slightly buzzed brother before sending his text to Warren.

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"The cameras are coming on live in ten seconds." Warren shouted. He had three camera's set up, two near the bridge to focus on Jane and Maura, and another set at the back of the ceremony on a platform so they could get a look at all that was going on. The watchers would have the option of watching a split screen with a shot from two or all three cameras or a single screen. He had a powerful mic set-up near the bridge as well, it would take care of all audio so all three views would be the same. He loved doing this sort of thing and had good people working with him. He held up three fingers and watched as the camera on the platform began filming, capturing Jane as she left the garden to cross the clearing to the wooded area and the waterfall.

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Jane and Marcus walked through the garden at the back of the house, they could hear classical music being played by a couple of violins. Jasper and his son-in-law both played. They heard Warren shout the ten second warning, it let everyone know it was showtime and also not to go speaking about preternatural things, humans would be listening. Jane stepped confidently through the garden gate with Marcus's large presence a step behind her at her shoulder. He was going to stand up for her. Jane's smile grew when she saw Warren up on his platform with a camera on a tripod and a laptop and two extra screens sitting next to him. He was having a blast filming everything for their wedding video, and doing the live feed for their family and friends back in Boston.

Jane stepped into the area near the waterfall, making her way down the aisle between the few white folding chairs that had been set-up. The few remaining pack members that they arrived with who weren't running cameras were sitting in the chairs, as was the family who owned the Inn and helped put everything together. They had even snagged JeanAnne's twelve year old granddaughter, Bethany, to be in the wedding. She was going to be their flower girl/ring bearer. Jane smiled at the young girl as she passed and winked. The young girl turned nearly as pink as her pretty dress at the attention. She heard JeanAnne commenting about how striking and elegant Jane looked. The tall dark haired beauty hoped that comment got picked up by the cameras, she was sure her mother would love it. It might help with the Isles' family as well. Jane smiled at JeanAnne, who was holding a happy Jo Friday, as she strode past. She stopped at the foot of the bridge to await Maura. They would climb to the center of the bridge together.

A regal looking woman with stone grey hair that was swept up off of her face stood in the center of the bridge wearing white robes with dark green bands at the cuffs and hems. Symbols and ancient lettering that Jane did not understand were embroidered in gold, purple, and green along the cuffs and hems just inside the green bands. The robe was a work of art. The Shaman was holding an ancient looking book in her hands. Jacqueline, the Omega and Shaman, smiled and nodded to Jane as the dark haired bride stopped to wait at the foot of the bridge.

Jane turned and saw that Maura was walking through the garden gate, Evie was a few steps in front of her. Maura looked breathtaking. The dress was a simple design, similar to the one Jane had worn to dinner the night before. It was a lovely white and sleeveless with a pleated skirt. Designs were sewn with white and pail silver thread into the cloth of the skirt and some of the bodice. They were subtle hints and you wouldn't know they were there until Maura was close to you. Jane's smile grew as the love of her life drew nearer. She saw the necklace and bracelet she had picked out for Maura, she hoped her mate had liked them. Maura's hair was wound up in the back showing off her delicate neck. Jane thought that if her look was Katharine Hepburn, then Maura's look was Audrey Hepburn, all the way. The fair haired woman looked ethereal, like she was a garden sprite come to life. Maura was an angel, Jane's angel.

Maura paused just before reaching the trees. Evie walked down the aisle until she reached the bridge. Bethany soon followed scattering pink, white, and red rose petals across the path before coming to stand next to Evie. The music changed and everyone rose from their seats as Maura walked under the canopy over the rose petal path to Jane's side. Both women felt their hearts clench in their chest for the other. This was a moment they had both secretly dreamed of for years.

Jane took Maura's right hand in hers when she reached her side. "You, my love, are the most beautiful sight I have ever laid eyes upon." She brought Maura's hand to her lips kissing her knuckles gently before resting the delicate hand on her arm.

Maura's heart filled even more, her eyes brimming with the wealth of emotion she felt. "And you, my love, are absolutely stunning." She tightened her grip, squeezing the tall woman's arm in affection.

The few in attendance reclaimed their seats as the couple climbed to the center of the wide bridge coming to a halt before the Shaman. Jane and Maura turned to face each other.

The Shaman's voice rose to be heard over the sounds of nature. "We are all gathered here today to witness the joining of two souls and two hearts meant to be as one. Jane and Maura have chosen to take the ancient vows of my people translated to English for all to understand." She paused raising the ancient sacred book before her. Jane and Maura placed their joined hands on the book, the Shaman placed one of her hands over theirs. The couple felt a tingle run up their arms raising the hairs on the backs of their necks. The magic of the ceremony was truly mystical in every meaning of the word.

"May the Gods and Goddesses on High watch over and protect this union. Behold our friends and family assembled here. We thank you for this place in which we dwell, for the love that unites us, for the peace accorded us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow, for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful, for our friends in all parts of the earth. Amen." The Shaman removed her hand from atop the couple's, but their hands remained on the sacred book.

The Shaman turned to the smaller woman. "Maura Isles, do you take into your keeping the soul and heart of Jane Rizzoli, to love and honor as your wife and partner in life?"

"Yes, I do." Maura stated loudly for all to hear.

"Repeat after me." The Shaman intoned.

Maura repeated after the Shaman. "I take you my heart and soul, in love and devotion, through all that may come. I shall watch over and protect you in sickness and in health. I take you as my partner in life for richer and for poorer, in good fortune and in bad. I promise to honor you above all others. Our love is never-ending and we shall remain, forevermore, equals in our marriage. This is my wedding vow to you."

The Shaman turned to the taller woman. "Jane Rizzoli, do you take into your keeping the soul and heart of Maura Isles, to love and honor as your wife and partner in life?"

"Yes, I do." Jane's deep husky voice carried for all to hear.

"Repeat after me." The Shaman said again.

Jane breathed deep and repeated after the Shaman, her eyes never leaving Maura's. "I take you my heart and soul, in love and devotion, through all that may come. I shall watch over and protect you in sickness and in health. I take you as my partner in life for richer and for poorer, in good fortune and in bad. I promise to honor you above all others. Our love is never-ending and we shall remain, forevermore, equals in our marriage. This is my wedding vow to you."

A single tear escaped Maura's eye as Jane spoke her vows. A single ray of sun broke through the trees for a moment making it sparkle like diamond as it slid down her cheek.

"The rings, please." The Shaman looked across the bridge as Bethany climbed up to them her basket now empty of rose petals, but hanging from ribbons on the handle were the rings. The black ribbon held the ring meant for Jane. The white ribbon held the ring meant for Maura.

Maura placed her bridal bouquet in the basket as she and Jane collected the rings. Bethany moved back to stand with Marcus and Evie at the foot of the bridge.

"Repeat this vow together as you slide the rings upon each other's finger."

Their voices rose and harmonized together during their final pledge. "We swear by peace and love to stand heart to heart and hand to hand. Mark, to those on High, and hear us now confirming this, our Sacred Vow."

The Shaman placed the couple’s entwined hands, now wearing their rings, back onto the sacred book to bless their union.

"May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, may the hand of a friend always be near, may the rays of sun fall upon your home, may Those on High hold you in the palms of their hands."

"May Those on High be with you and bless you, may you see your children's children, may you be the poor in misfortune, the rich in blessings. May green be the grass you walk on, may blue be the skies above you, may pure be the joys that surround you, may true be the hearts that love you. May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward." The Shaman finished her blessing.

Maura and Jane felt the magic of the words and the moment wrap around them, warming them, confirming that they truly were two as one, soulmates and lifemates.

"In the presence of the Gods and Goddesses and your family and friends, I now pronounce you wedded and partners for life. You may each kiss your bride."

Maura slid her arms around Jane's neck as Jane's arms slid around Maura's lower back, their lips met in a kiss full of love, passion, and commitment. They pulled apart after long moments lost in each other. Their heads rested together.

Jane smiled, her eyes locked with Maura's. "I love you, wife." And a few tears finally escaped her eyes.

"I love you too, wife." Maura also had a few happy tears leaking from her own eyes.

The Shaman raised her hands for attention. "It is my pleasure to present to you Jane and Maura Rizzoli-Isles." The gathering clapped for the happy couple. Jane and Maura were scooped up in hugs and kisses as soon as they stepped off the bridge. Their new friends congratulating them and wishing them well.

They stood for pictures, some with them alone and some with the Shaman, Marcus, Evie, and Bethany. They turned together to speak to one of the cameras. Warren signaled that it was the only feed for now.

Jane spoke to those watching first. "Hi, Ma. I hope you aren't too upset with me or us. I know this might not be what you were wanting or expecting of me. I have been in love with Maura for a long time, I started falling for her the day I met her. I just couldn't fight it anymore and with Hoyt gone and after nearly losing Maura again. I saw no reason to fight my feeling any longer. I took a chance and found the greatest treasure in the world. I hope you, all of you can be happy for us. Mr. and Mrs. Isles rest assured that I love your daughter more than life itself. I will do everything in my power to protect her and make her happy all the days of her life. And Granny Cynthi, you were right and thank you for lending me your ear when I needed it."

Maura hugged Jane close. "Angela we didn't hide anything from you, we were too busy trying to hide our feeling from each other. Mother, Angela, we neither one wanted a big wedding or a big deal made of everything and we certainly didn't want to wait. We had waited long enough already. Angela, I love Jane and I promise to take excellent care of her and do my best to make her happy always. Mother, Father, I hope you can be happy for me, for us. Jane makes me happy in a way I have never felt before. The love we share is the greatest gift imaginable to me. Mrs. Castle I haven't met you yet, but I have heard a lot about you from my Jane. I want to thank you for your support of us even when we were both being stubborn. Now for you gentleman watching, I hope you can accept us and still care for us. You are all our family."

"Warren is going to keep the cameras rolling to record the rest of the festivities for us, the feeds will continue to run, as well. We are leaving the country tomorrow and will be out of contact for at least a month. Don't worry, we will be okay, we will contact you if anything does happen. We simply would like some time for ourselves. We will send our moms emails once a week, letting you all know we are well. As of now our cell phones are off, if there is an emergency please leave us a message, we will get back with you ASAP. Now please try not to worry too much about us. We love you all. We’ll see you in a month." Jane added.

"We love you, and Angela if you don't want to continue to take care of Bass, just call the sitter. She will take Bass until we return. Everyone take care and we love you." Maura blew the camera a kiss before walking away arm in arm with Jane.

The cameras filmed the rest of the evening as the small group ate and Marcus made a toast. The cameras were rolling as the cake was cut and the women fed one another, neither getting too much frosting on the other. They caught the women's first dance as a married couple. The final moments the cameras filmed was of Jasper leading a large chestnut gelding into the clearing. The horses black tack and saddle had white ribbons accenting them and white flowers were braided into his mane and tail. A surprised Maura actually gave a little shriek as Jane scooped her up and approached the horse. Jane, with Maura's urging, had taken her over shirt off earlier because she was getting overheated. With her stronger upper body flexing and the armband on her arm showing, she looked similar to a warrior of old carrying her wife off to claim her.

"Hold onto me tight love." When she felt Maura's grip tighten around her neck, Jane placed one foot in the stir-up and released Maura with one hand placing it on the pommel. She mounted easily, as if Maura weighed nothing at all. To her new Lycan body, the smaller woman didn't. Jane held Maura aloft making sure her skirts were down properly before seating her across her lap. She took the reins from Jasper. Jane turned the horse facing the guests. "We would like to thank everyone who helped us put together this magnificent wedding on such short notice. You all have our deepest gratitude. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the evening and the party, it is time for us to wish you goodnight."

Jane turned the horse and rode off around the lake as their well-wishers cheered them on. She followed the trail that Jasper had shown to her earlier.

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"I had no idea you could ride a horse and where are you taking me? I thought we were staying at the Inn." Maura clung to her incredibly gallant spouse.

"My mom's favorite cousin lives up in Vermont on a farm. We usually spent a few weeks with them in the summer. They had horses and I learned to ride. My brothers weren't interested in learning. I don't get to ride as often as I would like." Jane's grip tightened on Maura as they went down a little dip in the trail that crossed a shallow creek, once the trail evened out a bit more she continued. "As for where we are going, I set up a little surprise. I know we would both feel better with privacy for our first nights as a married couple. I called and talked with JeanAnne shortly before you called her to make arrangements for everything. Everyone worked together to help get our things moved to our private bungalow without you becoming any the wiser."

"Jane Rizzoli-Isles, you are a romantic and I really love that about you." Maura sighed contently and rested her head on her wife's strong shoulder.

Jane held her wife close. They rode the rest of the way in silence listening to the sounds of the night around them.

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Her baby girl was married. To Maura! Jane had looked so beautiful, even if she didn't wear a dress. She had always wondered about all the sleepovers and the touching. Jane was not a touchy feely person with anyone else, but she always had been with Maura. Angela was going to have to whack Jane upside the head for marrying without her, it would be good guilt material for years, maybe even a lifetime. But the look she saw in her baby's eyes was one she had never seen before. She was truly happy and content, her walls had been let down for Maura. Angela was so happy that her little girl was able to find someone to love like that and who could love her like that in return. She saw the look of love and devotion on Maura's face. Angela loved Maura like her own. It would take some getting used to, but she could do it. Besides she could brag a little, her daughter had married a wealthy doctor.

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Korsak was happy for Janie. He had wondered if she would ever be able to let anyone get that close to her after everything she had been through. The joy and happiness he saw on her face warmed his old grizzled heart. Maura had come a long ways since he first met her, she had become a friend. Jane brought out sides of Maura no else had been able to. They were both happy and in love and he was happy for them. He would have both their backs when they returned.

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Frost knew nothing could have ever come from the crushes he had on either woman, but until today, he could still dream. They looked so happy together, so relaxed and carefree. He saw a side of both women that he never thought he would see. He was happy for them both, they were both his friends. He would have their backs if anyone messed with them when they came back to work. Frost briefly wondered how Patrick Doyle would take having a daughter married to a female cop.

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Frankie wasn't surprised at all that Jane was in love with Maura. He had seen her, when they were both little, kissing a girl behind the garage. He wondered if she would ever get the nerve up to go with her true feelings. Ma had been pushing boys on her since high school and the church had been against her. He was glad to see his Ma seemed to be taking Jane and Maura's relationship so well. Now, them getting married without her, she wasn't too happy about. He wouldn't want to be in Janie's shoes when she got back. Maura was a great woman who obviously cared a great deal about his sister and his sister looked really happy and totally in love. He was happy for them both and if anyone picked on them when they returned he would kick their asses.

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There goes Janie, showing me up again. She got Maura. I can believe Janie is a lesbian, but I never thought Maura would be into women. Tommy didn't quite understand why the hot, rich doctor hadn't went for one of the male Rizzoli's. Why did she have to go for Jane? He could see they were happy and if it had been some other pretty woman besides his sister the whole thing would have been hot. He wondered if he stayed close enough, if he still had a chance to at least sleep with Maura when Jane couldn't give her what a man could. From what he knew of the Doc she had liked men pretty well before she hooked up with Jane. He sipped his fourth beer. Yeah, he would stay close and be there to scratch Maura's inches that Janie could not. He knew he wasn't supposed to be drinking, but hell it was a fucking wedding wasn't it. He couldn't wait to see his mom tear into Jane when she came back home.

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Constance Isles watched as her daughter, looking more relaxed and happier than she had ever seen her married a woman, a tough police detective. She hadn't been sure how to take Jane upon first meeting her, but the woman had called her on her poor behavior. As a result of Jane's interference, she and Maura had a much better relationship now than they had ever had since Maura came into her life as a baby. She was glad Maura found someone strong to love her. Her daughter needed that. She was also glad that her daughter, who always seemed to be so caught up on the intellectual aspects of everything found someone who could show her a side of life and love that she had never been able to teach the girl. She had watched the two of them together. They balanced each other well. Now to make this union go over well in the society the Isles family dwelled in, Constance knew she was going to have to take her daughter's new wife in hand when they returned and teach her how to get on in their world. She couldn't have her embarrassing Maura or tarnishing the Isles name.

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Maura's father wished he could have been there to give his daughter away, but he understood why she hadn't wanted a big wedding. He and Constance's parents had forced one on them and it had been a circus. He wished he was closer with his daughter. He had been so wrapped up in his career when she was growing up and she seemed so self-reliant. He let her practically raise herself with the help of nannies and boarding schools. He should have made more of an effort. Jane Rizzoli had made the effort to truly get to know Maura, to care for her even when she seemed not to need it. Jane had captured his daughter's heart. It was right there for all to see. Maura radiated with love and happiness. It was also clear that the stunningly beautiful Jane returned those feeling in full measure. He hoped that it wasn't too late to try and build a better relationship with his daughter. Constance and Maura seemed to be getting along better than ever because of Jane, maybe bringing Jane into their lives could help them all grow closer. He glanced over at his wife who had unshed tears in her eyes as she watched her daughter dance with her new wife. He also saw the calculation in them. He did not envy Jane when his Constance got a hold of her. She would do her best to turn the tough cop into a woman to be reckoned with in high society.

…..

Cynthi Castle watched the ceremony with joy in her heart for the young women. They were radiant. With the magi blood in her lineage she could see the claiming marks on the shoulder and neck area of both women. She wasn't strong enough in her heritage to see any but the first mark on the women. This was a new development. She knew that neither woman had been of the preternatural or paranormal community in the least. Their claiming marks proved them to be Lycans of some kind, just as the young man who delivered the invite was. It seemed the couple would have quite a story to share when they returned. She could now share herself fully with Jane. She knew she was not long for the world, her magi blood had helped her reach the ripe old age of 110, but she felt tired and knew her body was wearing out. She had outlived all of her family. Jane had become as a daughter, a granddaughter, a great granddaughter to her. She was family of her heart, family of her choosing. Cynthi was happy for the young woman she loved so much. Jane looked so elegant and powerful and so in love it made her heart swell. Her bride was beautiful and loved Jane with everything in her. The two would have a long happy life together; the old woman felt it was true deep in her bones. She looked forward to seeing Jane when they returned and to finally meeting Maura.

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So, what did you think? Please R&R. I hope you continue to enjoy the spinning of my tale. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 14

The bungalow came into sight as the horse exited from the woods. The little house sat across the clearing from where they emerged. It was built into a hillside with a large mostly screened in deck across the front that overlooked the valley. It was a picturesque spot. Jane angled the horse around the edge of the clearing so that they would approach the house from the side. The main entrance was there and she didn't want to give away some of the special touches she had worked on and arranged.

"This place is beautiful Jane. I didn't see anything about bungalows being available to rent on Jasper and JeanAnne's website." Maura was sitting up, taking in everything. She didn't ever want to forget a moment of such a special night.

"They don't rent them. This is used for family and close pack members. Marcus helped me set this up. He got my foot in the door and then I sweet talked JeanAnne a bit. I wanted this night to be special for you, for us. I wanted to surprise you." Jane held her ethereal looking wife close enjoying the feel of mate in her arms as they rode along.

Maura turned her head kissing Jane's long graceful neck. "Today has been wonderful, better than every dream of a wedding day I ever had."

"Mine too sweetheart, mine too." Jane's breath husked out. Her bride's lips on her neck was making it difficult to concentrate.

When they reached the house Jane slipped off the horse still holding Maura securely. She looped the reins around a nearby post. "Don't worry about him, someone will be along soon to take him back to the stables." Jane didn't allow Maura's feet touch the ground. She carried her to the door and across the threshold.

Maura gasped at the lovely sight before her. The large living area was lit with dozens of flameless candles. A king size four poster bed in the far side of the bungalow was mounded with pillows and had gauzy white hangings pulled back. The covers had been turned down with white, pink, and red rose petals strewn across it. A path of rose petals ran from the door to the bed and also out onto the deck. The glass French doors were opened and she could see a hot tub was in one corner of the screened in area of the deck. Champagne was on ice on the nightstand. Two flutes and a beautiful bowl of strawberries sat nearby and soft romantic instrumental music played in the background. It was a delightfully romantic setting.

"It is lovely, Jane." She shifted in Jane's arms her lips capturing her wife's.

Their lips never parted as Jane carried Maura towards the bed. She finally set her on her feet beside the bed. "You look beautiful in this dress my love, but it is time to remove it." Jane's lips trailed down Maura's neck then further to the lovely cleavage of her breasts. Maura clung to Jane's shoulders as lips pleasured her and her dress was unzipped. The dress fell to the floor, Jane tossed it onto the back of the couch a few feet behind her. She sat back on her haunches and took a moment to admire the vision before her. Maura wore a white lace demi bra, matching thong, and her high heeled silvery sandals. The dark haired woman’s mouth watered at the sight and the aroused scent of her mate and wife.

"You are an angel, my angel to worship." Jane’s hands began at Maura's ankles and her mouth on Maura's belly button as she kissed, licked, and caressed her way back up her wife's lovely body.

Maura didn't think she would ever get used to the way she reacted to Jane. Jane could make her insides melt and quake with a simple look. A mere touch made her feel like she would go up in flames. When Jane once more stood in front of her Maura began tugging on the sleeveless shirt her wife wore. "You still have way too many clothes on, no matter how divine you look in them."

Jane chuckled and helped Maura remove her shirt and pants. She hoped Maura liked the lingerie she had privately picked out to wear. If the look on her lover's face was any indication, she liked it, a lot. "I hope you like." Her voice came out low and husky, full of passion.

Licking her lips Maura only nodded. Jane stood before her in a white corset style top and a matching thong similar to her own. Her mate didn't look like an angel though. Jane looked powerful, sexy, and a little dangerous, even in the white. The outfit contrasted nicely with her tanned skin and the arm band only added to the sexy power of the look. Maura had thought it before and probably always would, her wife was a goddess. "You are stunning." She traced her wife's form with her eyes and hands.

Jane wasn't able to take it long before she lifted Maura placing her in the middle of the bed. The smell of roses wafted up around them as they rolled together on the petals. "I love you, Maura." Jane's mouth devoured every bit of skin she could reach. "And my love only grows stronger as time passes. Today has been the happiest of my life. I look forward to sharing the rest of my days with you." Jane made quick work of the remainder of Maura's clothing.

"I feel the same, Jane. You are the absolute love of my life. I truly had no idea what true love was until you came into my life. All others paled in comparison. I love you more than life itself and lifetimes spent with you will still not be enough." Maura was also busy removing Jane's last garments.

Mouths came together, hands stroked, and filled. Bodies writhed. The women came together, their first time as a married couple, their voices rising as they flew as one into the heavens. Neither slept that first night of wedded bliss. The lovemaking was sometimes slow and sweet and other times fast and taming. The women never stopped touching one another even as they fell into oblivion together as the sun of a new day began to filter through the curtains.

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That evening after showering and cooking dinner together the women floated in the hot tub watching the sun sink across the valley in beautiful pinks, purples, and oranges. Their hands were busy building the passion once again.

Maura felt how ready Jane was and thought it was a good time to approach her about a little something she had picked up in New York. "Jane, I want you to fuck me, fuck me with your hands free to roam my body."

Jane's body ran even hotter at Maura's words. Hearing her say the word fuck in such a way was a huge turn-on, although she wasn't sure what Maura was asking for. "How do you want me to do that love?" She took a soft earlobe into her mouth, nibbling.

"Oh, mmmm." She clutched at Jane. "I purchased a top of the line device you can wear. I want to be taken by you in that way, feel your whole powerful body thrusting into me, taking me over while both of your hands are free to touch and hold." She tilted her head giving her lover better access.

Jane growled as she sucked and bit her wife's vulnerable neck. She was a little unsure about using what Maura mentioned, but she had thought about using a strap-on with Maura. Hearing how much her mate wanted to be taken by her in that way only made her sex grow fuller and harder. She stood with Maura in her arms climbing out of the tub. "Let's get dried off and see if reality lives up to your fantasy."

Maura absolutely got her money's worth. The strap-on fit to Jane securely and was definitely top of the line. Jane had a small dildo inside herself and her swollen clit would be stimulated with every thrust. They even had the option of vibrations for either of them or both. They could also change the size of dildo they used.

The women loved looking into each other's eyes as they rocked together, hands entwined or caressing one another's bodies. Another night was consumed with lovemaking and passion. The sun was beginning to come through the curtains once again as Jane was behind Maura driving deep and powerful into her wife's needy center. Maura was pressing back to meet each thrust, the bullets had been turned on and the vibrations only added to the overall pleasure. Maura cried out as her orgasm hit sparking Jane’s to follow.

Jane turned the vibrations off as the women fell together onto the bed panting. "It's a good thing we're Lycans." She panted. "Or we would have killed each other by now."

"I would have died very happy." Maura gasped out as she too fought for breath.

A few minutes later Jane groaned as Maura helped her remove the harness. Maura put the harness on the nightstand before cuddling back into her wife. They were both spent and ready for some much needed rest. "Do you think sometime in the future you would like to be on the receiving end, letting me take you?"

Jane thought a moment. She and her wolf were dominate and enjoyed being so, but the thought of being able to give up that control to the only one in the universe she trusted enough to do so with was a turn-on. She knew Maura had a strong dominate streak in her as well. With everyone but Jane, she liked to be in control. "I think I could sometimes succeed my dominant role to you, it might be hot doing it." Jane kissed her smiling lover. She pulled the covers up as they snuggled up together, soon both were traveling in the land of dreams.

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Maura looked around as she found herself sitting on the edge of a burbling fountain in the middle of a beautiful Grecian garden. Topiaries, flowers, and statues surrounded her. Whoever designed the garden knew what they were doing. She turned looking across the fountain as a beautiful woman entered the garden. The doctor recognized her as the beauty came closer on the garden path.

"Hello Maura. You are looking happy and well." The tall fair haired woman greeted. She was dressed in a long flowing white gown, but without the chest armor she had worn before.

"Hello, Goddess Vivienne." Maura stood and bowed slightly, not sure of the proper etiquette. "I am happy and well."

The Goddess smiled. "No need for formalities when we are in private. Please call me Vivienne." She sat indicating for Maura do the same.

"Thank you, Vivienne." Maura sat wondering what was going on.

"I’m sure you are curious as to why you are here in my garden." The ethereal woman adjusted her skirts. "Fenrir and I wanted to speak privately with each of you. He is speaking with Jane as I talk here with you."

"What do you wish to talk with me about?"

"Your upcoming trip to Undrehiel. I want to let you know some of what you can expect there. It will not be like visiting Europe where languages and cultures are a little different or like the time you spent helping the needy in Doctors without Borders. You and Jane are going to be entering another world. A world without cars, planes, or trains. Many of the heavy metals humans use in so many things are harmful to many of the occupants of Undrehiel. Much of the population are at one with nature and could not survive long in the human world with so much pollution. As you would understand it, Undrehiel is an extremely "green" world."

"If there are no vehicles how do people get around? Is it a more technology backwards society?" Maura felt excited and apprehensive about the adventure that lay ahead of her and her wife.

"Undrehiel is a land of magic and mystical power. Nature is highly respected there. Your modern technology is not used or needed. You and Jane will both get much better at horsemanship skills. Carriages are used as well. There may not be planes, but dirigibles are often used. In some places that have great grassy plains or deserts, land yachts are used. They resemble great ships with sails that use the winds to propel them across the vast plains on large wheels." Vivienne smiled at the look of awe on Maura's face.

"It sounds like an amazing world." Maura hoped she would be able to see the things Vivienne described to her.

"You and Jane will see much of the world of Undrehiel during your training and in the future when you take trips back there for various reasons. You and Jane will become of both worlds. Have homes and be at home in both worlds."

Maura had never thought about it, but it made sense if they really were to live many lifetimes.

"My main concern at the moment is your upcoming training. You have a gift for healing, a magical gift or mystical gift, however you wish to describe it. With the knowledge you already possess of human healing you could delve within someone and help diagnose and heal them without all of the technology most doctors use." The Goddess stood. "Walk with me?"

Maura nodded as her mind reeled.

Vivienne walked down a garden path stopping in front of a statue that looked like a winged fairy. "There are many beings from the different classes that reside in Undrehiel, you are going to study them all and become as familiar with most of them as you are with the human body. You must if you want to be able to use your gift knowledgably to heal them." She moved on stopping now and again by another statue or topiary. "You are and always have been a scholar. You have a thirst for knowledge and a mind that easily retains all that you learn. It will be hard work, but you will enjoy it, just as you enjoyed learning in medical school."

"I did enjoy learning at school and didn't find it near as grueling as some did. I found studying to be a doctor fascinating. I am nervous, but also excited to learn the medical profession in Undrehiel. I’m more concerned about the things that will be required of me besides being a healer and scholar."

"I understand. You are already a fairly skilled fencer by human standards. You will learn to be as one with a real rapier. You will become skilled enough with a rapier to hold your own with any of the other classes you face. You will always wear a rapier at your side in Undrehiel and probably when you return to the human realm as well. I cannot see Jane allowing you to travel around unarmed once all know who you are."

Maura had always liked fencing, but she had never used a real rapier before and knew that fighting with one was quite different from using the flimsy practice blades. She walked on with Vivienne exploring the lovely garden.

"You will learn to defend yourself as well. In both your human form and your wolf forms. You will also learn magic from the Fae, Elves, and Magi. You and Jane are unlike other Lycans. You have powers beyond them. Some Lycans do have a little magical ability when their parents are of mixed classes such as Lycan and Magi, but nothing like you and Jane. It will take those of other classes to teach you to use and control your gifts."

They came to a small table with a tea service set up on the surface. Vivienne sat in one of the white chairs and waved Maura to the other. "You will also be learning the history of Undrehiel and of all of the classes. You will learn the rules of court for Undrehiel and of all of the classes as well. I know neither you nor Jane like politics, but sometimes you must step into that world. Many do not like to play politics, but they learn to use and wield the art as another tool or weapon in their arsenal." Vivienne fixed Maura a cup of tea.

Maura watched impressed that Vivienne knew just how she liked the hot beverage, but not surprised. The woman was an actual Goddess. "Thank you." She sipped the tea, it was wonderful, but she couldn't place the flavor. It was fruity, yet unlike anything she had ever had before.

"Honestly, I do not think you will find much in your education or training to be overly grueling. I think magic will throw you the most because of your logical mind and magic and mystical science is rarely logical. It simply is." Vivienne offered treats from a plate filled with cookies and small cakes.

Maura took a small cake and a couple of cookies. The whole situation was not much different from having tea with her mother and some of the older woman’s friends, except she was more comfortable with the Goddess. "I’m somewhat concerned about the court aspects of being the Queen of the Lycans. I grew up in a similar world, but never really fit in." She took a bite of the yellow cake and nearly moaned as the flavors exploded across her tongue.

"The trick you must learn and understand is that with the position you hold you are not simply aristocracy, but royal nobility. Those around you will be wanting your favor and will be wanting to fit in with you. You and Jane make a striking and powerful couple. Your simple existence is legendary. With the right mindset you will both easily rule at court. It has been a while since something new and truly exciting has happened at the Undrehiel courts."

They sat in companionable silence enjoying the garden and the refreshments. When they were both finished Vivienne once again stood. "Would you like to see the rest of the garden?"

Maura used her napkin and placed it back onto the table. "Yes please, this is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever had the pleasure of visiting."

"Thank you. Gardening is a hobby of mine." The Goddess moved off to a different path along a small fish pond. "Your most important and probably most difficult task in your upcoming journey will be being the woman behind the King. In Jane's mind and heart you will be shoulder to shoulder with her through all of what is to come, but in reality you will be directly behind her supporting her, encouraging her, counseling her. Don't get me wrong you will carry great status and power in your own right, but the ultimate responsibilities and power will be on Jane's shoulders, both literally and figuratively. She will be taken to dark places as a ruler in the preternatural world. Life and death will be in her hands. You know how seriously she takes her duties to serve and protect. She will give no less to her duty as King. She will need you to be her light when she has to do dark things and go to dark places. Every one of the Lycans and many of the other classes will look to her to take care of them. Jane is a natural born leader. She was born to be a warrior King. However, the only place Jane feels she can truly be safe and cared for is with you."

"Your most challenging and rewarding duty in life will be being the wife, caregiver, protector, and safe haven for the most powerful individual in both Undrehiel and the human realm. As an individual Jane will be unstoppable, as a couple you both shall be a force of unimaginable power. In the future the power you carry will be needed, but until then you both need to grow into your roles and become comfortable with them, accept them."

They moved to a small bench under a willow tree. They were silent for a long time. Vivienne let the young woman come to terms with all that she had said.

Maura sighed. "Lady Vivienne, I will always be there for Jane. She is my life. I will do my best to be the wife, mate, and Queen she needs and deserves."

Vivienne beamed at the lively young woman. "I expected no less. Our time is running short and there was one other item I wanted to make you aware of before you go. When you and Jane reach Undrehiel your magic will begin to awaken, but so will your ability to communicate without speech to one another."

"What do you mean without speech?"

"You will be able to communicate with one another telepathically. You won't be able to read one another's mind, but you will be able to speak mind to mind." She smiled at Maura's shocked expression.

"Amazing. I never even thought of that. I'm not sure how Jane will react to that, though it might be fun." Maura smiled at the thoughts of the naughty things she could say to Jane and no one would be the wiser. Oh she could see lots of advantages to mind speaking.

"You, Maura dear, have a deviously fun mind." Vivienne laughed, once again reassured that she and the other Gods and Goddesses had made the right choice in Maura and Jane. "I am sorry to say that it is time for you to go. I have enjoyed visiting with you. We will be seeing one another again soon."

"Thank you for all the information you imparted and thank you for the tea and cakes, they were delicious. I look forward to our next visit." Maura wasn't sure how she arrived there and had no idea how to return home.

"Your body is beginning to wake in your marriage bed. Your conscious mind will be drawn back to it automatically." Maura heard Vivienne say as the garden around her became hazy and Maura felt herself floating away on a breeze. She felt herself sink into a dreamlike state. The breeze carried Maura to a warm and welcoming place. The fair haired woman was back in her body and held tightly in her wife's embrace.

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Jane looked around wondering what the heck was going on now. It seemed like only moments earlier she had fallen pleasantly asleep in her wife's arms. Now she sat at a bar in what looked like some wealthy persons man-cave. She turned back to the bar when she heard a glass being set down behind her. Unsurprisingly Fenrir stood there smiling in white slacks and shirt, he wore no golden armor this time.

"Nice to see you again." Fenrir said as he opened a beer and poured it into the glass. "This isn't what you usually drink, it's a specialty from my neck of the woods." He poured himself a glass as well.

Jane took a tentative sip and was pleased. "Best beer I've ever tasted and I've sampled my fair share." She smiled. She had a feeling Fenrir was going to be a real pain in her backside, but she liked him anyway. He wasn't as pompous and self-important as she figured Gods would be.

"I'll see if I can ship you a few cases when you get settled in Undrehiel." He settled on the stool beside her. "I called you here to give you a heads-up into some of what you can expect in Undrehiel." He explained the lack of technology and heavy metals, also how environmentally conscious beings in Undrehiel were.

Jane thought it sounded like an interesting place to visit and live some of the time. She and Maura were about to go on an adventure unlike anything either of them had ever been on.

"You are going to be learning the history of Undrehiel and those of the different classes of preternatural. You will learn many languages, some known to you, some not. You will learn battle tactics and strategies. You are going to work your ass off to become the greatest warrior and leader of warriors and to become a great King. That includes politics and court life." He laughed when Jane groaned and downed half of her beer.

"I hate politics and I doubt I will feel much different about court life."

"Probably not. I have been dealing with it for millennia and I still dislike it. However, knowing how to go on in court and how to manipulate it will just be another weapon in your arsenal." He topped off his and Jane's glasses before standing and moving towards the pool table. Jane followed.

Fenrir stopped before a wall full of ancient weapons. "You are going to become the best of the best with each of these types of weapons and many more that I don't have here. You will also become a master of many types of martial arts. One day you shall be the best individual warrior in Undrehiel and the human realm. It will be hard work, but it will be worth it and needed. Trust me when I tell you that you will be a great leader and King. All of us On High will do all we can to prepare you, in some cases training you ourselves."

Jane was beginning to feel nausea building as Fenrir spoke. She wished she had the confidence he seemed to have in her ability to become what everyone expected her to be.

"Jane you will carry a great weight on your shoulders, but always remember you have one place where you can let all of that go and be safe and cared for. Maura will always support you and be there for you. You are a team, you are the frontline and she your support. Don't ever be afraid to share with her. She is your balance. You will be expected to perform many tasks that will weigh heavily on you. There are few jails in the preternatural society. There is no life in prison or death row. When someone commits a grave or heinous crime justice is swift and often times bloody. You will be challenged and you will not be able to give quarter. You have killed in the line of duty on two occasions. That number will grow as you become a warrior and ruler. It will be done to protect those you care for and serve. Being King is very similar to your ideals of serve and protect, but on a much grander scale." Fenrir racked up a game of eight ball and they played in silence as Jane began to come to terms with the further reality of her position.

She was never more thankful to have Maura in her life and be working together. Knowing Maura would be by her side in all that was to come gave Jane the courage to face the tasks put before her. As the billiard games progressed Fenrir informed her of the waking magic and her and Maura's waking telepathic link to one another. It seemed that a great many more changes would begin to occur from the moment they entered Undrehiel. Jane's mind was reeling.

Of course Fenrir won every game, he had probably been playing billiards for thousands of years. Jane didn't think she did too badly considering. Fenrir and Jane laid their cue sticks on the table.

"You did pretty well for one so young. You will get better." He took his and Jane's empty glasses to the bar. "Your body is waking and you will soon be leaving here, but rest assured you will be seeing me again soon. Also congratulations on your wedding it was lovely and I quite enjoyed how you involved your closest family and friends in such a way that it eased potential ruffled feathers, but gave them no power over the situation. You are better, my Raven, at politics than you may realize."

Huh! Jane hadn't thought about it that way. "Thanks, Maura and I are very happy together." Things began to get foggy around her.

"Goodbye till next time, young one."

Jane felt herself floating away in a cloudy haze before settling into warmth and comfort. She was back in the warm cocoon of her wife's arms.

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I hope you liked this update, the story is moving right along. If you like drop me a line and let me know what you think. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Take care all. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 15

Maura and Jane slowly woke together enjoying the closeness of the moment. Jane kissed the top of her wife's tousled head. "Hmmm, waking with you in my arms is one of the greatest treasures in my world." The taller woman tightened her arms around her love. "How was your chat with Vivienne? Mine with Fenrir was enlightening and terrifying all at once. I got my butt kicked at pool several times while we talked. A very humbling experience, I'm usually considered pretty good at that game."

Maura chuckled. "I have always found watching you play pool a very erotic experience. Your backside looks great bent over a pool table." She tightened her hold as well. "I very much enjoy waking up wrapped up with you, one of the great pleasures of my life. I also had an enlightening and terrifying visit with Goddess Vivienne. We toured her garden and had tea and cakes, other than some of the subjects we discussed it was an enjoyable experience. She has a lovely garden."

"They know us well. Vivienne took you to a tea party and I hung out in a bar drinking beer and playing pool. It sounds like we are going on quite the adventure. Undrehiel seems like a very interesting place, although I’m a little apprehensive about all the work ahead of me. It sounds like a very daunting task to become this great warrior they want me to be, not to mention the King stuff. Learning the magic and mystical skills might be pretty cool. The telepathy between us sounds like it could fun too, since I know we won't be able to read each other's minds without permission."

"I am actually looking forward to visiting Undrehiel, it sounds like an incredibly interesting place. I am excited about studying the realm and all of the new healing and scholarly subjects I will be learning. I'm not enthusiastic about the court aspects much. I am eager to advance my training with a rapier and improving my abilities in self-defense." The honeyed ginger rose up to look into Jane's eyes. "I want you to know that I understand that you are going to be put through some very grueling training and trials. Sometimes you will have to go to dark places and do dark things. I will always be there for you, sweetheart. Please let me help you and be there for you. Don't ever shut me out. Part of my job as your mate, wife, and Queen is supporting and caring for you. Let me do my job, it's something I love doing. You will always find a safe haven in me."

Jane pulled her mate close kissing her. "I love you so much. I will do my best to always be open to you and open with you. You are my home Maura. I thank those on high daily for what we have found in one another. You are my safe haven and I hope that you will always find your safe haven in me too. You are my world. I live and breathe for you." They shared another kiss before Maura sat up.

"You are my safe haven and world and I love you with all that I am." Maura crawled naked out of bed. "Come join me in the shower before breakfast. I would like to go out for a walk and explore our beautiful surroundings a little bit. Now come on, I need you to help make sure I get every little place on my body squeaky clean." Maura winked giving Jane a saucy smile before disappearing through the bathroom door.

Being no slow top, Jane was off the bed in a flash, ready, willing, and eager to inspect every inch of her wife's glorious body … with her tongue.

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Jane slid the last plate into the dishwasher when she felt a warm and welcome body press into her back.

Maura's arms went around Jane pulling her close. "Are you ready to take a walk with me, darling? Get a little fresh air before we come back and ravish each other some more."

"Sounds wonderful." Jane spun in Maura's arms. The look of pure happiness on the smaller woman's face took her breath away, that happiness she knew was mirrored on her own face. At that moment they truly were experiencing wedded bliss. "Let me get the dishwasher turned on before we go." Minutes later the two headed out the door hand in hand.

They both loved how their bodies now came alive when they were outside. Things they were never aware of before now came rushing to them. Their wolves stirred within.

"I think I will call Mark when we return to the house and see if we have the all clear for taking our wolves for a run tonight." Jane helped Maura over a downed tree across their path.

"Wonderful, I love running with you in the moonlight." Maura let herself fall back against the downed tree, leaning against it as she pulled Jane off balance and into her body. "There is something about being outdoors with you that really turns me on. I am even more aware of everything about you than I normally am. It's intoxicating." She pulled her dark haired mate close taking her mouth in a kiss hot enough to start a forest fire.

They broke apart only when they needed air to breath. "God, you’re amazing. You taste, smell, and feel so good. I wish I was able to have you wrapped around me all the time." Jane ground herself against her love as they shared another passionate embrace.

After breaking for air once more, Maura smiled up at her mate. "I too would love that. I can only imagine how everyone at work would react." The women laughed together at that absurd picture.

Jane's hands were disappearing under Maura's shirt when they both felt it, an overwhelming cry of heartbreaking distress. They could also feel pain and fear. Someone, nearby, of their pack was hurt and in danger. Jane closed her eyes focusing on the cry. "It's near the inn. It's Bethany, the child who was our flower girl. She is seriously injured and scared. Those around her are scared as well, they are afraid to move her. Come we must go and help."

"Let's stop by the cabin so I can grab my medical bag." The two women sprinted using their new Lycan agility to quickly make their way back to the bungalow. They were back out the door in moments easily navigating the path back towards the inn. Jane led the way following a pull she felt deep inside her very being.

The pair arrived at the edge of a clearing near the barn, a saddled horse ran loose in the field. A group of Lycans were all hovered around a small figure lying on the ground near the woods.

Jacqueline, the pack Omega and shaman had her hands near the wound in Bethany's chest as the girl's mother tried to keep the child calm.

Maura immediately knelt down beside the girl and began assessing the scene. Jane stood behind her inquiring about what had happened.

Marcus rubbed his hands across his face. "Something startled Bethany's horse and she lost her seat and fell. She’s fallen on a small broken off tree and the short, sharp stump has entered her back. The Omega thinks it may have also nicked her heart. They’re afraid to move her because they wouldn't be able to stop the bleeding. I tried to see if I could awaken her wolf and force a shift to help heal her enough to stop the bleeding, but she is too young. Her wolf was too far away for me to coax it out."

Jane pulled Maura a few steps away. "We can do this Maura, I feel it. I will guide Bethany's wolf out and you will help heal her. The shift alone will help, but that is a serious injury and your gift will assist her greatly. If we don't do this, tell me, what are her chances of surviving until paramedics can get here?"

Maura turned frightened and resolute eyes up to Jane. "I don't really see how she will make it if we don't help. I am surprised she is still with us now. That stump is slowing the loss of blood, but the slightest shift and she could bleed out in moments." Maura quickly pulled her iPad from her medical bag and had a diagram of a wolf's anatomy brought up for her to study. "You go talk with Bethany. Calm her and let her know what we are going to do. She will listen, she has a crush on you, you know. I will look this over and be right there. We will do this together."

Jane squeezed her love’s shoulder before walking over and kneeling beside Bethany. She looked at, Laura, the girl's mom and Jacqueline, the Omega. "I need the two of you to step away. I’m going to call her wolf and Maura is going to help heal her to the point that she will be okay enough to let nature take its course. We aren't going to let Bethany go."

The two women stepped back feeling the power and conviction coming from the Alpha.

Jane leaned close to Bethany's ear. "Don't you worry sweetie, Maura and I are going to take good care of you. You’ll be running with your friends again in no time. Now I need you to relax and open your mind and soul to me. I know you have never shifted before, however you are old enough to be getting pretty close to that first shift. Now when I get that sleepy little wolf of yours to come to me I need you not to fight it and let the shift happen. There is nothing to be afraid of I will be right there with you all the way. Maura will be taking care of your wound for us so you have nothing to worry about. Squeeze my hand if you understand." Jane felt the little hand tightening on hers.

"She's ready Maura."

Maura knelt on the girl’s left side as Jane moved to kneel by her head. "Marcus, Jacqueline, when I instruct you to, I need you to lift Bethany straight up and move her over enough to lay her flat on the ground, then step away." Maura laid one hand on Bethany's chest and the other slid under the girl around the entrance of the slim stump. She followed her instincts closing her eyes and focusing on the wound, letting some of the force from within flow through her hands and into the injury to the point that she could somehow see it in her mind's eye. Maura sent power into the surrounding tissue to hold the blood at bay and to minimize the pain when the girl was lifted.

"Move her now."

As soon as the girl was removed from the stump and placed flat on the ground, Jane pressed her forehead to the girl’s as she held both of her hands. Jane let her wolf come to the surface, but did not release her. She let her own personal Alpha power flow into the girl seeking the sleepy little pup. She swatted the little thing gently awake. When it lifted its head Jane blew into its face waking it up fully, coaxing the little grey pup to follow her. "That's it Bethany. Here she comes. Relax and let her out."

The gathered crowd watched in awe as the two women worked a miracle before their eyes. They all knew without them Bethany would not make it. In moments a small grey wolf laid on its side nearly asleep while Jane talked softly to the pup. Maura kept her hands on the wounds continuing to work her magic on the child. The pair pulled up at the same time both battling to rein their wolves back in, at least for the moment. Jane stood first before helping her wife to her feet.

"She should rest for a few hours. When she wakes the Omega should be able to help her change back, if not Marcus should be able to. If you’re still having problems Jane and I can return. Bethany should try to eat something once she changes back and then get more rest. The bleeding has stopped and I have helped strengthen the injured area. However, rest and allowing her body to naturally recover will be the best medicine for her right now." Maura turned to the Omega. "Do you have an antibiotic shot you can give her to help fight off any infection that might try to creep in from such a wound?"

"Yes, I will take care of that and also clean up around it. I don't mean to be rude, but who are the two of you that you were able to do that?" The Omega and Shaman asked.

"We will tell you, but you must vow to keep our secret until we return from our journey to Undrehiel. Once you are no longer in our presence you will be unable to speak of who we are until the time of our return. Is this acceptable to you all?" The child's parents, grandparents, and Jacqueline all agreed with the dark haired woman.

Jane looked to Marcus nodding for him to explain. "Jane and Maura are the recently returned wolves of legend. They have been heaven touched. Jane is also known as Laird Raven and Maura is also known as Lady Snow. They are the pure black and pure white wolves of ancient folklore."

Those just hearing this stood in stunned silence hardly able to believe that the legendary wolves had returned.

"Marcus, Maura and I need to run tonight. Is it safe to do so here or is there some place we can go to that is?"

"We have scouted the whole property and things should be safe. The whole area has a security fence around it. Once it was confirmed that no unauthorized beings where on the property we electrified it and turned on all security measures to prevent intruders. You should be safe to run free all over the property, but I would be careful near any roads where passing vehicles might see you."

"Thanks. Could one of you return our clothes and Maura's medical bag to our bungalow for us? We had to hold our wolves' right at the surface the whole time we cared for Bethany and though we have pressed them back they would really like to be set free. It has been over four days since we ran as our wolves and we need to let them go."

Jasper stepped forward. "I will personally return your belongings to the bungalow, My Laird. I and my family thank you and Lady Snow for all you did this night in saving our precious Bethany." Jasper and all of his family bowed their heads in a show of respect and thanks.

"Thank you Jasper we really appreciate that and we are glad we could help Bethany." Maura smiled at the man causing him to blush.

Jane and Maura both knelt and stroked the young wolf's head. "You rest little one and we’ll be back to check on you in the morning. You did well today and were very brave. I know everyone is very proud of you." Jane whispered into a small grey ear.

The couple stood as Maura returned the few things she removed from her medical bag before securing it. They moved out of the crowd and closer to the trees to gain some modicum of privacy before stripping, folding their clothes, and stacking them neatly beside the bag. They both knew that everyone was waiting to see their black and white wolves run across the clearing and off into the night.

"You ready to run with me Lady Snow?" Jane asked as her eyes took in all of her mate's beauty.

Maura returned the looks in equal measure. "I am ready to follow you anywhere my Laird Raven." She quickly kissed Jane before stepping back and letting her wolf take over.

Jane and Maura's wolves were almost instantly standing where the two beautiful women had been.

The crowd parted in awe as the two large magnificent wolves trotted over to the little grey wolf both nuzzling her neck affectionately before turning and sprinting across the clearing disappearing into the woods beyond.

Jasper felt tears in the corners of his eyes and he knew others of his family had them also. "I can hardly believe that they have returned in my lifetime. They are amazing."

"They got married at our inn! Do you know what an honor that is? Do you think that they would mind if we put that on our website once they are known to everyone?" JeanAnne couldn't wait to brag that Laird Raven and Lady Snow were married at their inn.

"I don't know JeanAnne. You will just have to ask them once they return from Undrehiel." Evie chuckled. "Now let's gather this young pup up, take her inside, and get her comfortable."

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The Black and White wolves ran and played together for hours enjoying the freedom to do so. They also found the time to love one another. Jane and Maura's wolves were just as hot for each other as their human selves.

Jane and Maura returned to the bungalow joyous from their run and very hungry. They shifted at the door entering to the wonderful aromas of lasagna. Maura picked up the note on the kitchen table.

Ladies,

Thank you for all you did for my baby tonight. Lasagna and a loaf garlic bread are staying warm in the oven and a salad is prepared for you in the fridge. We knew you would be hungry after your run so my daughter-in-law, Laura, and I fixed supper for you. You enjoy and we will be seeing you both in the morning.

Sincerely,

JeanAnne

"We have our dinner all ready for us compliments of JeanAnne and Laura. Come shower with me and then we can dig into that lasagna that smells so delicious." Maura placed the note back down as Jane took her hand, the taller naked woman already heading towards the bathroom.

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An hour later both women were clean and well fed cuddling together on a wicker sofa on the deck, overlooking the valley, as they watched the sun sink into the horizon. "You were awesome today, Maur. The way you were able to dive inside that girl and start to heal her injuries, holding off the blood long enough for her to change was really incredible. I knew you could do it. I am so proud of you." Jane kissed the top of her wife's head that was snuggled into her neck.

Maura felt loving warmth spread over her at Jane's praise. "Thank you, sweetheart. But I couldn't have done it without you. You gave me the courage to do it. I somehow felt you and your belief in me. I knew that with you by my side everything would be alright. You were amazing. You knew something was wrong almost immediately and got us there to help. You took over the situation and without you being able to bring that girl to an early shift even with my ability we would not have saved her. You my lovely King were awesome and you make me very proud of you." Sitting up, Maura climbed up into Jane's lap until she was straddling her legs. She began kissing and nibbling on the long slender neck up to a tender earlobe, loving the feel of her powerful mate trembling for her. "I want to take you right now My Raven. Come to bed with me and give yourself to me. I feel all this power coursing through you and we both know you could easily take me and I would not fight it. However, I want you to give over to me and let me love you into oblivion." Maura moved Jane's tank top strap over to the side, placing her teeth on her original claiming marks and bit. Teeth sinking just shy of breaking the skin.

Jane's back bowed and she thought she might climax from that alone. "I am yours for the taking my snowy lady."

"Then carry me to our bed now. I find it an extreme turn on when this powerful body of yours works for me."

The tall powerful woman eagerly complied. "Your wish is my command, my lady."

Jane soon found herself naked on her back being devoured by her mate. Her hands holding the reinforced head board tightly, as her woman had ordered. There was no slow build up, her body was rocketing towards ecstasy faster than her mind could keep pace. In moments she was screaming to the heavens, Maura's name escaping repeatedly from her lips.

Very pleased with herself, the smaller woman let her tongue and lips lead her back up her lover's glistening body. "I love you so much. You are so sexy when you climax for me. I plan on you doing it many more times for me before morning. Now you stay right as you are, I am not done with you by far."

Jane lay panting as Maura climbed from the bed. She turned her head when she heard the drawer by the bed open. Maura pulled out the harness that Jane had worn the day before. Maura caught her eye, the request plain in them. Jane gave a nod of ascent, though she became a little nervous at the gleam that came into her lover's eyes as the harness was tightened firmly into place. She knew she was in for a wild ride for the rest of the night.

Hours and many orgasms by both women later, Jane found herself with her ass at the edge bed, her legs over Maura's shoulders as the smaller woman took long forceful strokes that were rapidly taking them both to one last trip to the stars. Jane was very glad for the yoga classes she had been attending with Maura. Her lover had put her in more varying positions that night than Jane dreamed she could be in. Only moments ago she had been taken from behind by her wife, a position she normally didn't care for and avoided, but with Maura it was amazing and she came hard from the interaction. Her precious gave her no time to catch her breath before flipping her over, throwing Jane's long legs over her shoulders and driving home once more.

They were both covered in sweat, their wet hair sticking to face, neck, chest, and back. Neither woman could believe they were able to be so close to going over once again. Maura loved how completely Jane had given herself over to her. Her dominate warrior had freely submitted to her. It was a heady feeling and she gloried in it.

The women were riding the razors edge when Maura leaned over her long legged lady keeping those luscious limbs on her shoulders while the smaller woman kissed her. The tilting of Jane's hips and pelvis into the new position was too much for the dark haired beauty, she came screaming into her lover's mouth which in turn brought Maura shattering over the edge with her.

Maura fell into a limp heap upon her well pleased mate, Jane's legs slithering down her body to hang off the bed, neither woman capable of speech in that moment.

Jane wasn't sure how long they lay there with Maura still deep inside her, but she really wanted to pull them both up onto the bed and snuggle up with her woman and sleep. She wrapped her arms around the sweet body on top of her placing her feet on the edge of the bed and working her way back and up onto the pillows. She eased Maura out of her groaning as aftershocks shot through her. It took the last of Jane’s energy to work the snug fitting harness off of her comatose wife, before dropping it off the side of the bed, and pulling the comforter up from the floor and over them both. In no time at all Jane was spooned up against her love joining her in blissful sleep.

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Late the next morning the women woke hearing gentle knocking on the front door. Maura simply turned over covering her head with the comforter. "Could you get that sweetie and try not to kill whoever it is, but if they end up maimed I won't complain."

Jane groaned as she stretched her sore, but well-loved body. Once again glad she was a Lycan or she probably wouldn't be able to move at all after the night they had shared. She eased out of bed taking the time to pick up the harness and drop it into the nightstand drawer out of sight. She slipped on a robe that was lying across the back of the couch before making her way to the door. She peeked through the curtain to find JeanAnne and Evie standing there both with big smiles. Jane raked her hand through her hair in an attempt to tame the wild mass somewhat before opening the door. "Morning ladies. What can I do for you?" Her voice low and husky from the workout it went through.

Both women giggled, it was quite obvious what the gorgeous woman had been up to the night before. "Good morning. Actually I thought I would bring you and your lady breakfast this morning as a thank you for what you did for my granddaughter yesterday. I hope we didn't drop by too early."

Jane's stomach growled as the breakfast smells reached her. "I appreciate your thoughtfulness." She glanced at the clock and saw it was well after nine. "You’re not too early. Maura and I actually overslept."

"We aren't staying. We’ll just drop this all off in the kitchen and get out of your hair. We’ll see you up at the house a little later when you come to see Bethany. Laura never left her side all night." Evie reassured.

Jane nodded moving out of the doorway so the women could bring their cargo in.

JeanAnne sat the basket down on the counter and Evie sat two thermoses down beside it. "The silver one has good old Columbian in it and the green one is a latte. Now in the basket you have pancakes, muffins, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a big bowl of fresh fruit. You two enjoy your breakfast and we will see you soon." The visitors headed for the door smiling. The lump in the bed hadn't moved at all the whole time they were there.

Jane poured a latte and carried it over to the bed. "Sweetheart time to wake up. A couple of lovely women brought us breakfast and we need to go see Bethany soon." She pulled the cover down enough to reveal the attractive sleepy face underneath. She fanned her hand over the cup of coffee stirring up the aroma.

Maura slowly sat up, the pull of coffee too much to ignore. "Thank you sweetheart, it smells delicious."

"Why don't you start that and let me bring you breakfast in bed?" Jane kissed Maura on top of her head before heading to the kitchen. She enjoyed pampering her mate and wife whenever she could. Maura meant the world to her and she wanted to show her in every way she could how much she loved her.

After breakfast and a shower where they were both brought to a slow easy climax, the newlyweds headed off down the path back towards the inn holding hands. They enjoyed the peaceful walk together.

Upon their arrival at the inn, Marcus led them to a house a little further up the road that was equally as beautiful. Bethany's father, Erin, let them into the home. "It is an honor to have you in our home. Can I get either of you anything?"

"I’m fine thank you." Jane declined the offer as did Maura.

Maura looked around the well-appointed house. "You have a lovely home. I love how well the craftsmanship has been maintained."

"Thank you." Erin blushed leading them towards a staircase. "If you will follow me I’ll take you to see Bethany. She had a quiet night. My Laura never left her side. I think she is almost afraid to at the moment. I think having you check her over will ease my mate's mind."

They were shown into the third door from the top of the stairs. The room was well balanced between girly and sporty. The walls were yellow with movie, music, and sports posters covering them. It seemed the girl was a big fan of the WNBA. The girl was smiling shyly up at them from a full sized white four poster bed. Her mother who had been lying beside her daughter now stood on the other side of the bed from them.

"Thank you for dropping by to see my baby girl." Laura was smoothing down her hair and clothes.

"You're welcome." Maura looked around seeing Evie and Jacqueline, the Omega, standing near a window seat across the room. "Have you checked on her this morning?" She asked Jacqueline.

"Yes, my lady. She is healing nicely, but still very sore. If left as she is Bethany will have at least another week in bed and it may take a while for the scar to disappear. However, I think if we can get her to shift again and stay as her wolf for a few hours before shifting back, that those two shifts will help take care of the last of the damage. She could be up and around tomorrow with just a little stiffness. Nonetheless, I would still recommend taking it easy for a few days."

"Bethany said she didn't feel comfortable trying to shift alone, yet. Her wolf, though stirring, still felt sleepy and shy to her." Evie smiled at the young girl. "Marcus offered to help her shift now that her wolf was awakened, but Bethany refused until you two came to see her."

Maura smiled at the girl who seemed to be blushing even more. "Well you are looking much better than the last time I saw you. Do you mind if I sit next to you? I would like to place my hands on the covers above your wound and check on how it is healing."

The girl nodded her agreement, her gaze returning mostly to Jane who was standing silently near Maura letting her do what she needed to do to heal the girl. Maura chuckled to herself, the girl certainly had it bad, but she had good taste. Jane was very much crush worthy.

The honey ginger sat on the edge of the bed placing her hands lightly over the injury before closing her eyes and letting her awareness seek out through her hands and into the girl. She found the wound closed, but very raw and tender. The doctor sent out healing warmth to take away some of the tenderness and eradicate any possible infection. The girl sighed as Maura's healing energy left her young body and the woman eased away. "Does that feel any better?"

"Yes, ma'am. It's not as sore now. It felt kind of warm inside when you did what you did."

"Good." Maura looked over at Laura. “I concur with the Omega. Another complete shift to wolf and back should have this young one up and around as early as tomorrow." The healer looked down at a touch on her knee. She leaned down to hear what the girl had to say.

"Lady Snow, do you think Laird Raven would help me shift again, instead of Uncle Marcus?"

Unable to fight it, the fair haired woman grinned. "I’m sure she will." Maura patted the girl’s hand and rose.

Jane had heard the girl's request and took Maura's place. "I'm glad you're doing so well today. I think you gave your ma quite the scare yesterday." She leaned closer to Bethany. "I used to do the same to my ma growing up. She said I got into more scrapes than both my brothers combined." The dark haired woman chuckled. "Actually she still tells me that to this day."

"Really?" The girl stared at the beautiful woman smiling down at her.

"Really. Now are you ready to shift?"

"Yes, My Laird."

The dark haired woman nodded. "Why don't you call me Jane since we are not in a formal setting, you can even call me Raven if you want, if no muggles are around?" She joked.

The girl beamed. "Okay, Raven." The girl lay back with a huge smile on her face. The other women in the room chuckled.

Noticing the girl’s sleep shirt Jane tugged on the collar. "Why don't we step outside and let your mother help you get out of your pj's. You cover back up with the blankets here and when you shift you won't ruin your jammies." The tall woman stood motioning everyone to the door.

Short moments later found them all back in their previous positions. Jane smoothed the hair back from the girl's forehead. "Now I want you to relax and concentrate on feeling your wolf. This time I want you to help me bring her out. Once we get her up and heading towards the surface, I don't want you to fight it. I’ll be there with you the whole time."

Closing her eyes the girl nodded. Jane placed one hand on Bethany's head before leaning forward sending a part of herself that was The Alpha out into the girl. Her black wolf leaned its face close to that of the little grey one blowing into the shy nervous pups nostrils, just as Jane herself did with Bethany. The wolf and girl relaxed, instantly knowing they were safe. The dark wolf nudged the young one getting her on her feet and with a few more gentle nudges from Jane and Bethany calling her it wasn't long before the small grey pup was running for freedom. It took a minute, but when the magical fog around the child dissipated, a little grey wolf lay where the girl had moments before.

The wolf was nervous and didn't seem comfortable inside. It climbed out of the covers and huddled close to Jane. The jittery wolf calmed as she stroked its back. "I believe our wolf here will be more comfortable outside." The pup whimpered as Jane stood. Jane looked over at her mate who nodded her understanding and agreement. "You stay here with your mother for a moment. I’ll be right back." Jane stepped into the small attached bathroom and quickly stripped, hanging her clothes on the back of the door. She cracked the door a hair before shifting. The raven black wolf used her paw to exit and join the others in the room. The little grey wolf eased from her bed and was at the Alpha’s side in moments. The dark wolf blew in the grey's nostrils once more before licking the side of her face. Jane made a few chuffing noises that everyone seemed to understand. The door was opened and the raven wolf led the little grey down the stairs and out the back door Marcus had opened for them.

The pair wandered around the large back yard, Bethany getting used to her new form. Her nearly healed injury keeping her from running off into the nearby woods. It wasn't long before the small wolf was yawning. Jane nosed her over to a large shade tree with soft grass beneath. The small grey wolf laid down curling her tail up and around herself. The much larger black wolf curled around the small grey keeping her warm and safe as they rested in the shade on the warm day.

Maura watched her mate from the deck and fell even more in love with her strong warrior with such a big heart. Jane really would make a great king. She felt Jane already was a great king and Alpha the detective just had a few ropes to learn.

Several loved ones watched the pair as the dark wolf protected Bethany as she rested. JeanAnne sighed happily. "That is an amazing sight. That mate of yours is an awesome lady. Our Bethany will be sharing this with her grandkids someday. Do you think it would be okay if we took a picture of them together for Bethany? I will immediately put the SD card in the safe built into the wall of the basement of this house. The card will not be taken out for any reason until we are given permission to do so."

Maura thought about the possible ramifications of such a thing. She heard goddess Vivienne's voice brush through her mind. "Take the pictures and put the card in the safe. I will insure they aren't seen until you and Jane return. The pictures will be cherished by Bethany and Jane. This caring memory will be one that can help both you and Jane when things seem daunting or discouraging for you in the future. It will remind you what you are working for, who you are looking out for."

"You may take the pictures and put the card in the safe, but we would like copies of them also when we return."

JeanAnne agreed with alacrity. She zoomed in with her camera snapping several shots before Marcus escorted her down to the safe.

Evie glanced around spotting several of her pack members guarding the area around the yard and house. "Why don't we relax and enjoy each other's company while our girl rests. Jane will bring her back up to the house when she wakes and Laura you could use a nap as well." Everyone agreed and soon Laura was up in her room asleep. Many of the men and a few women were in the garage going over an old car Erin had purchased to restore, and those remaining not on guard duty were perched around the deck talking and enjoying JeanAnne's homemade lemonade and cookies.

In the yard it appeared that the black wolf was resting around the smaller grey, but she was alert and enjoyed listening to the conversations of those around her. It may not be the afternoon she and Maura had planned, but it was still nice. Jane pushed away thoughts of what the following day would bring, when they packed up and headed for Undrehiel, and simply enjoyed the afternoon. She knew Maura was doing the same.

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Well I hope you enjoyed this Chapter. We will be traveling to Undrehiel soon. Please let me know what you think. Your reviews help keep me motivated to continue even when life gets crazy. Thanks for taking the time to read my story and I hope you continue to follow along. Until Next Time ~~Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 16

Jane groaned burying her head further under the covers as the alarm on Maura’s cell phone went off for the third time. They had stayed up long hours enjoying their last night in the human realm. Neither of them knew exactly what the future would hold or if they would get much time for indulging in long, hot, sweaty lovemaking sessions in the near future. They took full advantage of their uninterrupted time together after they had returned from visiting with Bethany and her family. Jane felt Maura fishing for her cell and shortly thereafter the alarm was once again silenced.

Maura slowly sat up against her pillows stretching her delightfully sore body. “Jane baby, I don’t want to get up either, but we have pushed it as long as we can. We still have to separate out what we think they may allow us to take into Undrehiel and what they won’t. It is going to be so odd living without my cell, iPad, or computer. We can’t take anything with us that isn’t made of natural fibers and materials and most anything with metal in it is denied.” Maura paused looking at the mound of covers next to her. The only thing she could see of her wife was part of her wild mane feathered out across her pillow. “Jane, are you listening to me?”

Jane’s hand slid out from under the covers snaking around Maura’s middle as she snuggled closer. “Yes dear, I hear you.” Came her muffled voice. “We will be fine and we’ll adjust I’m sure. Remember Undrehiel is much older than our world, I’m sure we will discover ways of living that will leave us with little need for human technology. We are already going to have telepathy between us, which is much better than trying to reach you on a cell phone. Besides Evie said they have a large shopping market similar to a mall on each side of the in-between selling goods from the different realms. We’ll get there early enough to shop for some of the things we may need and Marcus said not to worry that there were some trusted retainers already preparing for our arrival. You will also get to do more shopping once we get settled in Undrehiel.”

“I know you’re right, but I still worry. I prefer picking things out for myself.” Maura was running her hand up and down her loves arm. “I wonder what fashion is like there. I am really going to miss my shoe collection, although this does give me the opportunity to build it back up again there.”

A chuckle escaped Jane. “Way to look on the bright side, babe. You get to explore a whole new world of fashion and shop till you drop.” She pulled the blankets off of her head. “I’m going to miss Jo Friday though, but I think I have found the perfect baby sitter for him. I thought I would leave him with Evie and Marcus’ people, however I now think that Bethany would make a much better dog sitter and could devote more time to taking care of her. What do you think?”

It was Maura’s turn to chuckle. “I think that girl will be over the moon with the opportunity to take care of the pet of the woman who makes her juvenile little heart race.” She thought the crush Bethany had on Jane was adorable.

“Another one of the reasons I think she would take such good care of her.”

“You’re probably right.” The fair haired woman leaned down and kissed her lovely mate. “Now get your cute derriere up and moving. We have lots to do. I want plenty of time to shop before we enter the in-between.”

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Jane and Maura watched as the bags they weren’t taking with them were loaded up into one of the SUV’s by five of the original ten wolves who had been staying with them. Those five wolves would be taking their things to a vault at Wolf Security Headquarters in Boston to be stored until they returned. The only thing Jane and Maura were bringing that would need to be stored in the private safe room Marcus’ company held at the crossover depot would be one cell phone, one laptop, their wallets, and Jane’s  gun and badge. They had found out that they could visit special accesses in the in-between and be able to use their phones or computer. They figured that once every human realm week, which was about once every Undrehiel year, they could drop an email or call to their family and friends and check any messages they had.

Jane had called Bethany’s parents after she had gotten up and inquired if they would mind if she asked Bethany to dogsit for her. She was glad they were okay with the request, but not nearly as happy as Bethany had been when Jane posed the question to her. The girl had promised to take excellent care of Jo Friday, she would treat the dog like she was her own. Jane thanked the young wolf and gave both the girl and the dog a hug goodbye before heading back to the inn to catch their ride for the crossover depot.

Evie, Ashley, Warren, and Tony joined Jane and Maura while Marcus spoke with those headed back to Boston. Evie and Marcus would only be staying in Undrehiel for a few months, which equaled only a few days in the human realm. Ashley, Warren, and Tony would be staying in Undrehiel until Jane and Maura returned. As soon as the group heard their ride approaching in the distance JeanAnne, Jasper, Jacqueline, Laura, Erin, and Bethany with Jo Friday in her arms all came out to watch them leave. When the helicopter crested the trees everyone said one last goodbye before Jane, Maura, and their entourage loaded up once the helicopter had landed. The trip would take approximately two hours arriving around eleven in the morning deep in the middle of nowhere Maine.

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The Maine crossover depot looked like a giant barn built right into the mountain. There were other outbuildings around the complex, even an old farmhouse that was still in use.

“There is a spell around this area to help blur it from the human world, but if anyone not wise to the preternatural ever comes calling they only see an old farmstead and have the urge to move on. This place is not like an airport where you can leave a car and come back to it. You either have someone drop you off and pick you up or you take one of the depot’s vans out to one of the larger cities in the state and find your own way from there. Arrangements can also be made for the vans to bring people to the depot from major cities. Many things are done to make sure the norms don’t discover crossover depots.” Everyone heard Marcus explaining in their headsets as they circled to land. He had ridden up front with the pilot leaving plenty of room for the others to sit three to a seat facing each other.

Jane smiled at how Maura was taking in everything, cataloging every new thing that came her way into that giant brain of hers. Everyone departed the helicopter carrying the one bag they had each brought with the addition of Jane carrying a computer bag and Maura her good size leather purse. Jane knew the laptop case was lighter than that purse. They all stood together straightening themselves up after Marcus had waved their ride off.

“Just so you know the two of you will not be using your normal last names once we step inside. You will go by Jane Raven and Maura Snow or Laird Raven and Lady Snow from this point on. From what I was told those on high have made sure everything has been prepared for your arrival here. You will have identification, monetary exchange cards, and monetary funds waiting for you when we check in.” Evie said as they made their way up to an oversized door that was opened for them by a large man dressed in overalls and a feed store hat. At a glance you might think he was just a farmer and not a guard except this farmer had a large sword strapped to his back, a knife in his boot, and a gun holster hidden just inside the bibs of his overalls.  “Most of the guards who patrol the grounds or who travel outside at this depot all dress similar to him.”

“Interesting. Jane I bet you would look cute in overalls.” Maura’s teasing smile appeared, the one that she knew always worked on Jane.

Jane couldn’t help but smile back. “Maybe, but I bet you would look better in a pair that have the legs cut off really short and wearing nothing at all under the bib.” She leaned over saying privately to Maura, although she bet their friends standing closest to them heard if the giggle was anything to go by.

Maura flushed, however she wasn’t going to let her wife go at that. “Hmm, I’ll see what I can do.” She kissed Jane on the cheek and stepped away with a smirk. Jane had paused in her forward movement for a few seconds as that picture flared through her mind.

Evie and Ashley laughingly continued on keeping Maura between them as they headed to another door that was in the back of the barn, bypassing desks and check-in counters along the way.

Warren bumped Jane’s shoulder as they followed the women. “She got you, stud.”

A grin broke across the dark haired woman’s face. “Yeah, but if she comes through with that, I really don’t care.” She and the men broke out laughing.

They could only agree with the sentiment.

Their group only stopped for a moment at the rear door of the barn as two more farmer style guards scanned Evie and Marcus’ palms with what looked like a digital tablet. “Hey Garrad, been a while. Hope the family is doing well.” Marcus spoke to one of the guards.

“Been doing fine and the family is all well. The kids are growing like weeds.” He looked around the group all were familiar to him except for two. “They new employees of yours?”

“No, they are VIP’s we are escorting. You should have the authorization there in front of you.” Marcus was all business now.

Scanning down the screen on his tablet the guard nodded. “Yes sir, right here it is.” He indicated to the other guard to open the door for them. “I hope you all have a nice stay.” The two guards tried to be covert in their interest in the two VIP’s.

Evie and Ashley led the way with Jane and Maura following behind and the men bringing up the rear. It looked like they were walking into a completely dark space, however as soon as the door shut behind them light gently lit the area of a short, but wide hallway carved out of the mountain.  Upon reaching the end of the hallway Jane and Maura tried not to gape. They saw actual elves with pointy ears and everything roaming and working in the main area of the depot. There were life size fairies flying about and a group of dwarves huddled together not too far from them, some with long pipes in their mouths. They saw creatures that they could only think might be ogres and many more that they had no sure idea what they were.

A dark head leaned over whispering into the honey blonde’s ear. “Dorothy we are so not in Kansas anymore, we’ve fallen right through the rabbit hole.”

“Although you are mixing two different fairy tales, I have to agree.”

Their companions chuckled. “Your first time to Undrehiel is always a bit shocking. You’ll get used to it. Now come on. Let’s get checked in and take our things to Wolfe Security’s private suite and our vault. We want to have enough time for you two to shop and maybe grab a bite to eat and look around a little. We are scheduled for the three o’clock adjustment period.” Evie led them all on. The security team always kept Jane and Maura in the middle of their group.

Halfway to the reception desk they were met by a young man who eagerly greeted those of the security team. He bowed slightly tilting his head offering his neck to Marcus. Marcus simply leaned forward letting out a puff of breath onto the young man’s neck. This greeting was just another sign that the newlyweds were in another world and had a lot to learn about the culture. Human rules most definitely did not apply.

The young man straightened. “Sir, I have this package for you.” He handed over a slightly bulky legal size brown envelope. “Also I have seen to your other deliveries. I personally escorted them to your suite and made sure they were all secure for the transfer to the in-between.”

“Thank you Nathaniel. You always do good work for us.” Marcus discreetly passed a tip to the man as the smaller man gave a slight bow to the Alpha wolf. “I will let you get back to your duties.”

Nathaniel gave one quick glance to the two newcomers, but knew better than to stare or ask questions. “Thank you sir. I hope you all have a nice stay in Undrehiel.” The man was quickly off and lost once again in the crowds walking along the thoroughfare.

Marcus slid the envelope open and two slim leather wallets slid out, one black, one white. He immediately passed them over to Jane and Maura.

Both women were quick to open them finding new picture id with their Undrehiel names on them and an address neither woman was familiar with, they looked very similar to a drivers license. Another id card behind that one looked very similar, but clearly stated their positions as royalty, naming them King and Queen and Laird and Lady and carried an entirely different address. There was also a bright purple card with their royal titles and names on them and numerical codes under that were all written in gold. Another similar card was in the wallet except it was red with silver writing and had their normal Undrehiel names on them. These were their monetary exchange cards. They also found a variety of bills similar to American currency, however with people and places on them that neither woman was familiar with. They were made of some sort of fibrous material, each denomination was a different color. Both women quickly slid the wallets out of sight, no need to advertise what they had just received among so many strangers. They could check it out further when they were in private.

“Use your everyday id when we check in, it will be best to keep that other under the radar until we are officially in Undrehiel.” Evie warned casually, strongly aware of the world around them.

Both women nodded in understanding. They were all through check-in quickly and our gals had finally met their first vampires. One seemed like anyone else while the other appeared to have gone overboard to look like the epitome of Dracula.

The royal couple were first escorted to a large suite with Wolfe Security and Investigations emblazoned on the door in gold. The suite was nicely appointed with comfortable chairs and couches. A large flat screen TV with the accompaniment of the latest tech gadgets was also in the main room along with some items our Laird and Lady did not recognize. There was a small kitchenette with both human and Undrehiel appliances.

“Now the adjustment period for the in-between is six hours. Once we enter the in-between we will not be able to leave this room. Through the door on the right is a bedroom with a king bed and a private bath, the room on the left has several bunks and another bathroom. The door to our private vault is in the far wall. Why don’t the two of you take your things into the room on the right? You can freshen up and change out anything that has to do with your human realm life and replace it with what you were given. For the next four years or so of your lives ladies you will be saying goodbye to Detective Rizzoli and Doctor Isles and saying hello to Laird Raven and Lady Snow, King and Queen of all Lycan kind.” Evie continued to explain. “Just so you know, your monetary exchange cards’ funds come directly from the banking accounts you have inherited from the previous Lord and Lady, that account was large from the beginning and has done nothing but earn interest in the many centuries since they put it in trust for you. The account now is almost limitless. You are among the wealthiest couples in Undrehiel.”

“We will be back out shortly.” Maura led the way into the room with Jane close behind.

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Jane shut the door snicking the lock in place. She turned leaning against it as she tried to catch up with the world around her.

Maura placed her bag and purse on the bed. “The last,” she glanced at her watch “thirty five minutes have completely shaken my world.”  She turned to her tall wife who simply let her bag and the computer case slide to the floor before opening her arms. The smaller woman was in them in a heartbeat. Both women were each other’s shelter in the storm that their life had become.

They simply held one another for several minutes before Maura brought her head up, Jane meeting her halfway as their lips collided. The kiss was long, deep, and soothed them both.

The kiss broke. They simply rested their foreheads together breathing deep. “I love you sweetheart and so needed this. It has been too long since I held you and kissed you. I also needed the comfort and support. I really thought I had my mind wrapped around this trip, yet coming out of that cave like hallway and into the depot was so much more than even my imagination could possibly have prepare me for.” Jane said.

“I understand, baby. I wasn’t prepared for it either. The last half hour has really driven home just how much we have to learn.”

Jane sighed. “We better hurry and get back out there. They will be waiting on us.”

Both women freshened up first before removing anything that could identify who they were in the human realm. Maura emptied her purse and went through everything. Her wallet was much thinner when she was through.

Jane simply took out a few pictures from her wallet and placed them into the black one Marcus had given her. The hardest part for her was placing her badge and gun with her wallet on the bed. They had been a part of her for so long. She leaned into her wife for comfort when she felt the delicate yet strong arm slide around her back. The women turned as a knock sounded at the door.

Jane opened it to find Ashley standing there holding a wooden box in her hand about the size of a shoe box. It had a brass combo lock built into the hasp. “We thought you might want to use this to put your personal things in. You can set your own combo for the lock then we can show you how to set the magical lock on the box. You can place it in your own personal safe in our vault.”

“Thanks, Ashley. We’ll be right out.” Jane took the box letting the door shut behind her. “This is a cool looking box. I wonder what all this writing means on the outside of it, I bet it has something to do with the magical lock on this thing.” She handed it to Maura.

“It is beautiful. I don’t recognize the writing either, but I would say you are correct about it having to do with magic.” Maura sat the box on the bed before opening it up. The inside was covered in some kind of red velvet like cloth. She grouped up her small pile of cards and notes from her purse and wallet that had anything to do with identifying her as Dr. Isles and placed them in the box, along with her cell phone. She would send a quick email to her family and friends, but wasn’t prepared to talk with them yet. Jane agreed she wasn’t ready either.

Jane picked up her gun, cleared it, and took the clip out. She quickly stepped into the bathroom grabbing a small white hand towel and an even smaller facial cloth. She wrapped the hand towel around her gun and the facial cloth around the clip. The cloths would help protect the gun and clip as well as their personal documents. She laid her wallet with Maura’s personal cards and put her badge on top of it all before closing the box. The women came to an agreement about the ten digit numeric combo in no time. They would use the month and year that they had met all those years ago in a museum for the first four digits and the month, day, and year that they were reunited over a body at a Boston crime scene for the last six. It was a combination both women could easily remember and others wouldn’t be able to easily guess.

Everyone turned to them as they reenter the main room. “Everything that can identify us as Detective Rizzoli and Doctor Isles is in here except for our laptop.” Jane announced.

Evie took the box from them. “Why don’t you grab you laptop case, we can place it inside the vault while we go out shopping. No one should have the audacity to snoop in our rooms, nevertheless I would rather be safe than sorry. If anyone did decide to snoop in here there is no way they could get into our vault.”

Maura turned back gathering the case before she and Jane joined Marcus and Evie in the small walk in bank type vault in the back wall of the suite.

“Place the laptop in one of the shelf bins by the door. It will be safe enough until we get back.” They all turned to the back wall which was completely lined with what looked like row upon row of wall safes. There were smaller ones on top, medium in the middle, and large ones on bottom. Marcus was opening up a safe in the middle. “This one should be big enough for all of your remaining things not joining you in Undrehiel. If it turns out it is not enough we can move down to one of the large ones.”

Evie placed the wooden box on a nearby table. “To magically lock this box the two of you need to each place a hand on the side of the box over the knotted emblems there and with your other hand trace the large design on the top of the box. One of you will trace from right to left, the other left to right.”

The women easily complied and both felt the magic flow around the box and through their hands as the magical lock was snapped home. “Now that was cool.” Jane grinned at them all.

“It sure was. Does the safe have something similar?” Maura inquired.

“Yeah, just as this vault does.” It only took moments to lock up the safe. “Now let’s get going before we run out of time. It’s a little after noon and we have to be back before three.” Marcus waved them all out of the vault sealing it closed behind them. Moments later their group was back outside the suite heading for the shopping market just off of the main thoroughfare.

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 Jane laughed as Maura wrapped the little leprechaun around her finger as she praised the craftsmanship and artistry of his shoes. They had already eaten, thankfully at a very human friendly restaurant. They had stopped at a women’s shop immediately after lunch. Jane with Maura’s help picked out a few things while Maura found herself a few dresses and hit the make-up and perfume counter. Jane was always impressed with how Maura could shop. She had left Maura with Evie, Ashley, and Tony when they headed to the make-up and perfume counter. Marcus wanted to take her to an armorer shop a few doors down. Warren accompanied them. Jane had seen some really finely made elven blades. The men knew Jane felt odd not having a weapon on her. She now had a fine elven knife in a sheath on her belt and one she could either strap to her ankle or slide into a boot. When Jane and the guys had met the women and Tony outside the shoe store they seemed to have more bags than she thought they should have.

Jane had lifted one eyebrow at Maura questioningly as she took some of the bags from her. “I may have picked up a few extra things I liked for the both of us.” She grinned, leaning into her taller lover for a quick kiss before she led the way into the shoe store and found shoe love with a leprechaun.

The leprechaun’s clerk was a nice female vampire. The clerk passed Jane her bag with the pair of brown leather boots she had purchased and a pair of sneakers very similar to those she had on except the soles were made of some material she wasn’t familiar with. Both pairs of shoes were the most comfortable Jane had ever worn. She now sat in a chair surrounded by shopping bags, Evie and Tony sat on either side of her as they too watched Maura.  Marcus, Warren, and Ashley had been sent to the market to pick up some snacks for them all to munch on while they were in the suite for six hours.

“I like to shop, but I have never seen anyone who could do it quite as extensively or as efficiently as Maura can. She isn’t a frivolous shopper either. However, I think she gets a little dreamy eyed over shoes.” Evie commented.

“Yes she does. Well made clothing and accessories are a few of the things Maura loves, but nice shoes are an absolute favorite. I have caught her a few times online browsing for shoes at work. When my lady is down about something that is an activity that can often help cheer her up.” She glanced down at her watch as Evie’s phone registered a new text message. It was a quarter after two, Jane was going to have to call an end soon to Maura’s fun.

“That was Marcus. They are taking the things they purchased to the suite. Ashley is going to stay and put stuff away and the guys are going to come back to help us carry everything back to the suite.” Evie said as she slid her phone back into her pocket.

“I better go over and hurry Maura along or we might miss our departure time.” Jane rose stepping over the bags. She smiled at the little man helping her wife, before turning to the lovely woman with the dancing eyes. “Honey, Marcus and Warren will be back soon to help us take our things to our suite. I know you are enjoying yourself, but we are going to have to leave soon so we can get things situated before our departure.”

“I know, however it is just so hard to pick just a few pairs and we won’t be back this way for awhile.”

“My dear lady, my family has many fine shops throughout Undrehiel.” He slid a business card out of his pocket handing it to her. “Just look for the Landrekin name and symbol on the sign and you will know it is one of ours. We are the best cobblers in both realms. Please tell them that Raimesh sent you and they will take excellent care of you.”

“Why thank you kind sir. I will most certainly do that. Now I think I will add this pair to those I have already chosen.” She slipped the pump off handing it to the little man who quickly boxed it before heading to the counter to help the clerk check her out. Maura slid her heels back on. Jane assisted her up escorting her to the counter. When her purchases were rung up Jane was the one who paid for them. Both women grinned, the sharing of funds was new to them and made them both feel delightedly married. They knew they were going to have to take care of getting their finances set up similarly in the human realm as soon as they returned.

Jane was not at all surprised that Maura had purchased five pairs of shoes. She looped her hands through the handles of the bags following the blonde over to their waiting friends. The women looked at all the bags. “Are you sure we don’t need to pick up some luggage to help carry all of this?” Maura inquired.

“Don’t worry about it everything has been taken care of. We will show you after we depart.” Evie stood carrying the long bags holding Maura’s dresses while she left one hand free. Maura filled both of her hands as did Jane. Marcus and Warren arrived while they were gathering everything together. They along with Tony picked up the last of the bags each of them also leaving one hand free, the hand that could get to their weapons the fastest. None of them was expecting trouble, all the same they wanted to be prepared anyway.

Many sighs were heard as they made it back to the room. “I feel like a pack mule.” Jane teased as she headed for the bedroom she and Maura were given. She placed her bags on the floor by the bed moving out of the way as others placed their bags where Maura instructed.

“Ladies you have enough time to freshen up if you’re quick about it, then please join us out in the main area. We will explain a little bit of what is about to happen as we shift into the in-between.” Marcus announced before exiting the room with the others.

Both women wasted little time in using the facilities before joining everyone in the main area. They sat together on the couch along with Ashley. Evie, Warren, and Tony sat on the sofa facing them with Marcus taking the chair across from the TV. Everyone focused on him.

“I know you two don’t know a lot about the in-between or why it takes so long to get through it, but first I am going to explain how we are getting there.” He leaned forward in his chair relaxing his elbows on his knees. “The process is a mixture of technology and magic. We are the lucky ones who are able to traverse the in-between in a private suite. There are other private suites and some smaller rooms much the size of hotel rooms also available, however for most beings they stay in large areas much like commuter train cars. These rooms are linked so they can travel to the café or facilities. There are small private births available in these rooms or levels. There are a total of twenty four levels or trains consisting of six cars each at this depot. These levels are on a constantly revolving carousel that only pauses long enough for everyone to depart and reload. There are always twelve trains traversing the in-between towards Undrehiel as the other twelve head back towards the human realm. Now the private suites and rooms that aren’t always used are basically attached to these levels or trains when needed. Most private suites or rooms are rented by the trip, but there are some who own rooms and suites as we do. It is similar to those revolving garages they have over in Japan.”

“What exactly is the in-between?” Maura inquired after a moment of processing.

“The best I can describe it, is an open space in time between the two realms. We have learned to utilize the space to help make it safer to cross between worlds. Much like a diver who has dove to extreme depths must slowly rise back to the surface or he gets the bends. We must slowly be exposed to the time and atmosphere of Undrehiel or vise versa. Because of the time differences and differences in magical atmosphere it would be too dangerous to make the jump between realms all at once. Over the next six hours we, along with others on our level, will slowly be exposed to the atmosphere and timing of Undrehiel.” He further explained.

“Sounds pretty cool. Will we feel these changes or will it be too gradual?” Jane pulled Maura a little closer.

Evie fielded that question. “Most non magic wielders do not really feel anything, but they may have a reaction similar to jet leg. Since the two of you will be able to wield magic you will feel it growing around you and it will probably awake parts of you that have been asleep until now. In most areas in the human realm there is not enough magic in the atmosphere for the magic to awaken in young wielders, usually they are taken to spend a up to a month in Undrehiel once they reach puberty to see if they are ready to begin training or not. Since we know you two are ready yours will begin to awaken as soon as you are exposed to it. Once it is fully awakened within you, you will always have it even in the human realm. I don’t have a large knowledge of magic, however you two will soon be meeting with those who do to help you learn to use your magical gifts.”

Before anymore could be said a tinny voice echoed through the chamber. “We are now locking all doors. Please be seated and remain seated until transfer to the in-between is completed.”

Both Maura and Jane felt flutters in their stomachs. They were truly on their way to a new world, there was no turning back now.

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So what do you think? Don’t worry you won’t be held in suspense long. Now please read and review this chapter for me and let me know how you think I am doing. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 17

The others grinned at the nervous yet excited looks on their new friends’ faces. To help ease their nerves Evie decided to take their minds off of the departure. “Maura after seeing your love of shoes earlier, I was wondering… just how many pairs do you have at home?”

Jane began laughing receiving a swat from her wife. The others joined in and the light hearted banter continued until they were well under way.

Everyone finally felt it was safe to move around. The transfer had gone very smoothly.

Maura rose wanting to take care of all the new things they bought. “Evie what were you talking about earlier when you said we didn’t need to buy any luggage for our new purchases.”

The redheaded woman smiled. “You and Jane wait right there. Warren come assist me please.” She and Warren soon disappeared into the vault. Some rustling could be heard before Evie came backing out guiding Warren who was pushing a dolly loaded with a large tall object with a blanket thrown over it. They maneuvered the dolly into a larger empty space in front of Jane and Maura’s room.

“What is it?” Jane stepped behind her wife placing her hands on her shoulders as they waited together.

“My ladies, this is just a hint of the sort of things that are being done to help prepare for your arrival.” Evie pulled the blanket from the large item to reveal a beautiful trunk, wide enough that it just fit through doorways, the trunk was tall enough that it came up to Maura’s shoulders and was as deep as two average trunks put together. It was covered in brown leather type material with a pattern imprinted in it that almost looked like alligator skin except for the color. Thick straps where wrapped around it for accent as well as additional support. The opening of the trunk ran lengthwise instead of across. The metal parts were made of some sort of burnished brass colored metal. On the face of the trunk around the hasps and lock wolves were pressed into the leather. Scenes of a white and black wolf running together as others followed them. It was really an incredibly beautiful piece of luggage.

Maura ran her hands over the designs and began inspecting the whole thing. “This is extraordinary. The craftsmanship is amazing. What is the material it’s made of? It feels very much like leather.”

“This trunk was made by Quimbie & Sons. They are like the Louis Vuitton of Undrehiel. The material is a type of plant textile farmed from the giant shrub like leaves of the Chugumbia bush that only grows deep in rainforests. The plant easily regenerates its leaves. The only difficulty with using the leaves is the trek so deep into the rainforest to harvest them. The texture is natural to the leaf and not an imprint.” Evie explained.

“It really is beautiful. Let’s open it and see what it looks like inside.” Jane had never imagined owning such luxurious luggage.

The eagerness of her wife made Maura smile, she knew Jane was one who ripped eagerly through the wrapping paper to get to the gift inside. Maura easily unlatched the trunk and Jane helped her open it. The inside was equally amazing. The wolf theme was carried on inside with subtle imprints of the white and black wolf scattered in various areas, on the front of drawers or the back panels, even on the cloth coverings. There was an array of drawers on one side of the trunk. The drawers were of varying sizes and shapes. The other side of the trunk was designed to hang clothes in with an area in the bottom for several pairs of shoes. Another smaller trunk that looked very similar to the large one sat inside. It was designed to be carried by hand. It was approximately the size of four large shoe boxes stacked on top of one another and opened just like the larger one. Jane pulled it out sitting it on a nearby table. Maura inspected it just as thoroughly as she did the large trunk.

“Quimbie & Sons does excellent work.” The doctor opened it before Jane could to find that the case was designed to hold their personal items such as make-up, jewelry, perfumes, lotions, bathroom items, and even some intimate apparel.

“These trunks are really cool and will certainly keep things much neater than our bags.” Jane pulled out drawers looking inside finding other little cubby holes designed to hold smaller things. “We should take them into our room and pack our things, no sense in waiting till the last moment.”

“These trunks also have magic infused into them. Nothing will ever wrinkle or spill in these trunks and there is even a spell that will freshen items that have been worn before. They are also fire and damage proof. The best protection spells have been placed on them. You can even activate the anti-theft spell once you are packed and ready to travel.” Evie added.

“Incredible, I was wondering what that tingling feeling was I received when I was running my hands around the trunks.” Maura ran her hand over the top of the small one again feeling it tingle.

“I felt it too. I guess we really are wakening to our magic.” Jane felt a little nervous about wielding magic, but also curious. She gently closed up the smaller trunk lifting it. “Warren could you close and roll that thing into our room please.” She carried the smaller trunk into the bedroom setting it on the table by the bed. Jane hoped to find a few minutes to be alone with her wife. The dark haired woman had a serious need for her mate building within.

“Before you two begin packing there is one more surprise for you, this one sent by those on high themselves. They wanted to assist you in making a powerful showing upon your arrived in Undrehiel.” Marcus carried two large garment boxes. He handed the black one to Jane and the white to Maura. There was substantial weight to the boxes.

Spaces were cleared on the bed. Jane waited for Maura to open her box first, eager to share in her wife’s excitement.

Maura cut the string from around the box and slid the top off. Something long lay diagonally across the box wrapped in a thick velvety silver cloth, it sat on top of soft white paper separating it from what lay below. Lifting the long object out, the cloth began to slide away revealing a beautiful rapier. Everyone gasped at the beauty of the weapon. The hilt and scabbard were pure artistry. The pommel was shaped into a small wolf’s head with green gems for eyes. The handle had a corded silver grip and the knuckle guard was one single braided cord running from pommel to quillon. A small laced partial shell quillon separated the hilt from the blade. If you looked closely at the lace pattern there was a wolf facing outward on either side of the quillon.  The hilt looked utterly delicate. The scabbard, made of the same sort of silver metal as the hilt and appeared to have mother of pearl inlay throughout it. There was a beautiful scrolled design all the way down the scabbard with ancient looking symbols worked into the scrolling. Two rings hung from the scabbard one at the top near the hilt and one a third of the way down. These rings would be used to secure the scabbard and blade to the wielder.

Maura held the uncovered sword and scabbard in her hands. She had never seen such a magnificent weapon. She clasped the hilt. It felt right at home in her hand. The balance was exquisite. The hilt fit her like a glove. She felt that the delicacy of the weapon was a brilliant deception. The sword was very strong and could be deadly in her hands. Maura pulled the blade from the scabbard and found the scrolling and symbols from the scabbard also covered the blade, somehow emblazoned within the metal itself. “I have never seen anything to rival this sword. I can feel its strength, though it looks so delicate, almost like it is more decorative than useful. There is also magic embedded within it. I believe the symbols hidden within the scrolling are the spells.”

“It is truly marvelous sweetheart.” Jane ran her hand lightly over the blade. “I believe you’re right on the spells. I feel them as well.”

Eager to see what was hidden beneath the delicate white paper, Maura sheathed the sword laying it next to the open box. She folded back the fine paper only to gasp again before lifting out a stunning white dress with a scooped bodice that would fit to the upper body coming to a point at the apex. The skirts were full with a split in the front that showed an under skirt below.  The sleeves were a little loose to the elbow before gradually flaring out and hanging down the dress. Elegant silver and green embroidery ran around the shoulders and scooped neck continuing down the front of the dress to the waist. A bead of green and silver lacey cord trailed around the seam of the dress that connected the bodice to the skirts. The silver and green embroidery continued down the skirts of the dress following the inside hem of the split skirt ending with a larger pattern in the bottom inner corners of the skirt. The lacey cord was also stitched around the bottom hem of the dress. The dress was certainly grand. The material was soft, but looked heavy, however it was no heavier than the dress Maura was currently wearing. “The stitching and imagination that went into making this dress shows amazing talent and skill. I believe this is the finest garment I have ever owned and I have owned many fine garments.” She showed the dress to her friends and wife.

“You will look beautiful in it my dear, very much The Lady and Queen of the Lycans.” Jane smiled at her excited wife. Maura kept running her fingers along the fine stitching marveling at the craftsmanship. That was always a real clincher to anything the doctor purchased.

Maura carefully laid the dress across the bed turning back to the box finding other items to wear. She found an under tunic and skirts made of a white silky fabric. The final item in the box made her squeal. The heels were white with the same color and pattern around them as her dress had and the three inch heel of the shoes looked to be coated of a silver metal. The shoes were just as striking as the dress and sword. “I love these shoes. They were also made by a true artisan.” She showed them off to Evie and Ashley.

“I may not enjoy wearing them, but I do enjoy seeing you in them and you will look sexy as hell in those, baby.” No longer able to resist Jane kissed her sparkling wife.

“You know the jewelry you gave me at our wedding will look lovely with this dress and I already have the perfect earrings. I better hang this entire outfit up before something happens to it.” She immediately took the dress to the small closet in the room and hung both the dress and undergarments, setting the shoes in the bottom of the closet. She wrapped her rapier back up in the velvety material it came in placing it on the closet shelf. She moved the now empty box off the bed placing it in the far corner out of the way. “Well Jane don’t leave us in suspense let’s see what is in your box.”

“Now who is impatient?” Upon opening her box she found much the same as was in Maura’s, a long object was lying diagonally across the box, except hers was wrapped in black instead of silver. She picked it up feeling the comforting weight of it. Sliding the cloth off, she found a sword with a thick flat coin like pommel in gold with the outline of a snarling wolf head engraved into each side of the coin. The handle was solid black with gold inlay beaded around it. The quillon was a simple gold bar separating hilt from blade, but the ends were bent in opposite directions making it almost look like an S. It had symbols etched into it similar to those found on Maura’s sword. The symbols continued on down the black onyx scabbard written in shimmering gold, the scabbard curved slightly towards the end.

“That is a Falchion Scimitar. You can tell by the curved shape of the quillon and the curve of the blade.” Marcus informed them.

Jane pulled the sword from its sheath seeing the light bounce off of the finely honed blade. As with Maura’s rapier the symbols seemed to somehow have become one with the metal of the blade. Whereas the rapier had seemed delicate yet deadly, this sword appeared strong, lethal, and dangerous. Jane loved how the well balanced the sword felt in her hand, it felt like a part of her. “This is so awesome, and it feels amazing.” She experimentally turned her hand to and fro feeling how well they moved together. The weapon felt very right and natural in her hand.

“It is a truly beautiful sword Jane. It suits you.” Maura stepped closer getting a better look at the weapon.

Marcus asked if he could look at it. Jane passed it to him. He and Warren were more interested in the sword than seeing what kind of clothes Jane was gifted.

“Come on let’s get to the good part. I want to see what you are going to be wearing.” Maura clinched her hands behind her back to keep from moving the white paper herself.

“God, I love you. You’re just so adorable.” Jane leaned over kissing Maura before pushing the paper back to reveal her outfit.

Leather, lots of soft black leather was revealed. Jane loved leather, but usually in a coat or jacket, she had never thought of wearing a whole outfit of the stuff. On top she found a long coat that looked like it would fit to the waist before flaring out. The coat would come almost to her ankles. It was made of soft mat black leather. It felt great in her hands and she wanted to wrap it around her right then. Nevertheless she reined herself in with everyone watching her, though a little moan may have escaped when she brought it up to her face breathing it in.

Chuckling, Maura wrapped the taller woman in a hug. “Now who is the adorable one?” She dropped a quick kiss on luscious lips. She pulled back taking the coat from Jane to get a better look waving her wife on to what was next in the box.

It looked like a type of vest, but it didn’t open in the front. The vest or sleeveless top fastened up the back to the top of the spine where the collar split for easy movement of the head and neck. The vest came to just below the waist on the sides and back, however the front was cut to show off a good two or three inches of abdomen. The front looked like the two halves were held together by some sort of a cord similar to the lacings of a corset. A slash of deep purple leather was seen behind the lacing which stopped at the breast. The bodice of the vest was formed to cup and enhance her breasts and had built in support. No bra was intended to be worn with it. The vest was cut in a v from mid breast, not going straight up to the collar, but in a delicate wavy pattern up to the collar that would wrap around the sides of her neck. It was made of the same soft leather as the coat. She was glad to see that the inside was lined with a soft material to help keep the outfit comfortable. Jane always assumed wearing leather clothing would chafe after a while.

“Oh, you are going to look so hot in that.” Maura passed the coat to Tony, who also had a major love for leather, before pulling the vest from Jane’s grasp to inspect it.

“I’m glad you think so.” Next in the box was a pair of leather pants with Celtic type impressions in the leather forming around the waist and hips before running in lines that almost made them look like vines wrapping around the legs. They were really cool pants, so far Jane was really loving her outfit and from the look in Maura’s eyes, so was she.

 After Tony snatched the vest from Maura, she did the same to Jane with the pants. “These are beautifully detailed and so finely tooled. Your whole outfit is.”

Jane smirked seeing how closely her woman was inspecting the craftsmanship of her clothing. “Yes, they are all top quality.”

Boots were next out of the box. They would come almost to her knee and held the same design as the pants. The heel was a couple inches tall but thick, designed for comfort, stability, and support. She absolutely loved them, Jane loved the whole outfit.

“It looks like our outfits were designed to represent a little more of who we are, me a healer and scholar and you a strong leader and warrior. Both outfits present strength in their own ways.” Maura said as she looked over the boots, she had simply handed the pants to Tony not waiting for him to ask for them.

“Those on high know us well.”Jane turned to find a beautifully carved pewter like box left lying on the paper. She pulled it from the wrappings causing everyone standing around her and Maura to gasp. “What?” She glanced around them.

“I have only ever seen pictures of that. It is supposed to be locked up in the library archives in the former Lycan King and Queen’s vault. That section of the library is supposed to be locked to anyone except for the next royal leaders. I guess that lock doesn’t deter Lord Fenrir or Lady Vivienne.” Marcus could hardly wait to see the contents of the muted silver box.

Maura ran her hands over the object Jane held. “What’s inside?” She and Jane looked up when no answer was forthcoming. They only received knowing smiles.

“Open it and find out. That box will only open for one of you.” Evie insisted.

Jane flipped the latch to unlock it and Maura lifted the lid. Nestled inside were two bracelets or arm bands. A gold band was on the outside with a smaller silver band inside it. Both women felt the power emanating from the jewelry. Maura started to reach inside.

“Wait!” Jane stared into her wife’s startled eyes. “Only touch the gold band and hold it in your palm.”

Maura carefully did so, taking in the finely wrought scrolling of the band. Ancient text lapped around the top and bottom of the bracelet in very small lettering. The wide part of the piece depicted a large wolf made of some sort of solid black gemstone with golden eyes sitting with a slightly smaller wolf beside it made entirely of diamonds with emerald eyes. Worked into the gold of the remaining circling were depictions of all kinds of animals. There was wolf, lion, tiger, bear, raptor, horse, reptile, and several others, there was even a dragon hidden among them. The more you studied it the more animals you could make out, but the only ones made of gemstones were the two large wolves. Jane carefully lifted out the silver band. It was identical to the first except wrought in silver instead of gold and slightly thinner.

“Maura read aloud with me the text around the banding. We read the top banding first starting above the black wolf and the lower last starting below the white wolf.” Jane lifted her hand to better see the ancient writing. She knew how to read it the same way she knew what needed to be done. It felt somehow ingrained within her.

Following her lead Maura did the same, also finding the ability to read the ancient text ingrained within.

“I pledge this oath before the High Ones and my tribe to faithfully serve and safeguard the Lycans of all the realms.” They swore together from the top line.

“I bear true allegiance to Those on High and to discharge strictly and conscientiously the lofty duties that have been bestowed upon me.”  The bands began to glow as they finished reading the bottom line. 

Setting the pewter box down the two women faced one another. They offered out their right arms. Jane slid the silver bracelet up onto Maura’s wrist as the golden band was slid up her arm to her bicep by her Queen. The light and power from the bands now encompassed both women nearly blinding those who bore witness to the event. The royal couple never broke eye contact with one another as they felt the power and weight of their rank slowly seep deep inside their bodies flowing through every fiber of their being and becoming one within them.

Their ability to communicate with one another’s mind flared to life as did the ability to touch the minds of others, although they could not communicate with them. They instantly knew that their ability to touch the minds of those other than their mate was to stay secret, not to be shared with anyone other than themselves and those of the heavens.

Once the light and power flare faded Jane kissed Maura deeply unable to stop herself with the bombardment of love she was feeling coming across their mind link from her wife. “God I love you and there has never been a more beautiful Queen in all the realms. Not only are you beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well.”

Maura pulled back her eyes shining. “I love you too my mate and I must say a more stunning King there has never been.” She kissed her gorgeous wife once more before they turned together to face their friends.

The five Lycans instantly dropped to one knee placing fists over their hearts vowing their allegiance and loyalty to the new King and Queen. None of them hesitated in their pledge. Even on short acquaintance the two women had earned their respect and trust.

The couple was touched and honored by the pledge of their friends and knew that they would work hard to be worthy of it.

They stood at Jane’s nod. “That was incredible.” Warren said as he stood. “I never really thought I would be so close when the Bands of Royalty were accepted.”

“It felt pretty incredible too.” Jane laughed feeling a bit giddy as the tautness of the moment slowly ebbed. She pulled her wife close wanting and needing her near.

Maura’s arm went easily around the taller woman requiring the same. “We are both humbled and greatly honored by your vows and will work hard to always be worthy.”

Marcus shook both of their hands. “We have no doubt.”

Evie waited until everyone else had hugged or shaken hands with the women before she hugged them. “I am very proud to know you both and to call you my King and my Queen.” She turned to the others in the room. “Guys I think we need to let Laird Raven and Lady Snow have some time to themselves. We still have over 4 hours before we arrive. We can all use a little rest and relaxation before our arrival. Marcus retrieve Jane and Maura’s laptop from the vault so they can send out any emails they wish before we reach Undrehiel and lose the ability.”

With Lycan quickness Marcus returned passing the laptop over. “You can hook it up at the table in the corner. Cabling has been run beneath it. There is no wireless in the in-between.”

Jane took the computer. “No problem.” Placing the bag on the bed she and Maura walked the Alpha couple to the door, the others had already left.

“If you two could meet us out in the main room in about 2 hours or so, we need to go over a few things with you before you begin getting dressed for the arrival. I want to go over a few protocols and inform you of who will be meeting us at the depot.” Marcus let Evie step out ahead of him.

“We will see you then.” Jane assured.

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Jane leaned her back against the now closed and locked the door before pulling her wife firmly against her chest, very much enjoying the feel of her breasts pressed against her own. A sigh escaped both women as they sank into the love and warmth the other offered.

“Is it just me or is our world speeding up even more?” Jane whispered into a soft fragrant neck.

“It certainly feels that way.” The smaller woman tilted her head to allow her mate better access. “You know before we can use that large bed behind us we need to put our new clothes away.”

“Then we better hurry because I am a hairs breath away from stripping you bare and taking you anyway regardless of the clothing on the bed.” She gently nipped her mating mark glorying in the moan she received.

Wrenching from her lover, Maura quickly got to work hanging up Jane’s outfit.

Jane set the laptop on the table along with the pewter box and rewrapped her sword placing it in the closet with Maura’s rapier. The multitude of shopping bags were gathered and placed near the royal steamer trunk.

Not a second passed from the time the bed was cleared and Maura found herself flat on her back across the comforter with her wife hovering above her with lust and love sparkling in her eyes. Maura felt her wetness grow when she met that hungry gaze and felt the delicious weight pressing her into the mattress.

Their lips met, melded. The kiss grew as their hands roamed making quick work of their clothes. Soon they were beyond caring if the room was sound proofed or not. Maura was lucky Jane didn’t rip the dress from her body. As they touched, their minds opened to one another increasing the pleasure. It was so erotic knowing how much your touch effected your lover, it was as if their partners pleasure was also their own. The mind link pushed the heat of their lovemaking quickly into that of a raging volcano.

Maura’s fingers were buried in dark locks as Jane devoured her breasts with teeth, tongue, lips, and knowing hands. As the pressure built she rocked her pelvis up trying to increase the contact to her fully engorged clit and folds. “I need you inside Jane. I can’t wait, I need you now.” She tugged on her wife’s hair. “Kiss me. I want inside you too.”

Shaking with the rising tide washing through her body Jane slid up the heaving sweaty woman beneath her shifting one thigh between Maura’s. At the feel of a firm thigh returning that pressure between her own legs she groaned in pleasure taking her love’s mouth as asked. A long fingered hand crept down through tawny curls slipping through wet folds to find the warm tight haven that began milking the two fingers it now held in its grip.

Maura shuddered under her tall lover as she was filled. Her hand soon followed gliding down the fit form of her warrior woman before plunging firmly into hot depths and inhaling the moans of pleasure from her wife.

Their lips, breasts, and hips were slick with sweat and arousal as they raced as one up the road to ecstasy. Mouths drank down the cries of bliss as the women reached the pinnacle together neither stopping until their bodies rocked with climax twice more.

Jane collapsed onto Maura with the intention of sliding to her side.

“No sweetheart, stay, at least for a little while. I love the feel of you on top of me, your body pressing fully onto mine.”  The smaller woman liked being able to speak mind to mind especially when she was still unable to breath well enough to speak aloud coherently.

“I love the feel of you beneath me. You are so amazing love and this mind speak stuff rocks. I love you more with every second that passes. I absolutely adore you and worshiping at the fountain of your heart and body is my favorite pastime. I look forward to doing so for the rest of my life.” Jane absorbed the feel of the woman under her and delighted in the feel of the soft hands caressing her back and holding her close.

My warrior woman has a lovely way with words. You make my heart overflow with love and happiness. Several times a day I thank the heavens for bringing us together as mates.” Maura reveled with bliss in the fascination her wife had with her neck and shoulders. Jane was always kissing and nibbling her there.

Jane had no words, she simply opened herself up to her mate letting her feel all the love, affection, and pure joy she felt inside. She rolled to the side as they started to doze, pulling Maura into the crook of her arm. The leader quickly set the alarm on her watch for an hour as Maura worked the blanket up to cover them. They needed a nap. It had been a long day and there was still more to come.

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Upon waking they showered together and as usual they were unable to keep their hands from each other taking a little longer than they had originally intended. Not wanting to put back on their dirty clothes, but not yet ready to dress for their arrival each put on a t-shirt and comfy bottoms. Maura’s shirt was soft pink with a little wolf embroidered over her left breast and a pair of dark gray yoga pants. Jane’s shirt was black and said ‘My Lady Howls for Me!’ written in red and a pair of red gym shorts.

Maura rolled her eyes at the shirt. “I still can’t believe you bought that shirt.” She would not share that she secretly liked it.

“Well, it is true isn’t it? I will let you borrow it anytime you want baby, because I absolutely howl for you.”

Jane’s mischievous smile made an appearance and as always melted Maura’s heart. “I just may do that. Now get started on checking our email. Just read it to me and I will tell you what I want to say. You can answer for yourself. While you do that I will pack all of our things into the steamer trunks. I don’t want us to have a lot to do after we get dressed for departure.”

“As you wish, you’re Majesty.” Jane bowed before sitting down and doing as she was bid.

After checking their messages and receiving congratulations from everyone of their family and friends that they had sent an iPad to for their wedding, except Tommy, they found out that it had been decided by them all to wait and announce their marriage until they returned and a proper reception could be planned. This caused both women to groan.

“At least for us we have another 4 plus years before it happens.” Jane tossed out with cheer.

“Yes, we will be an old married couple by then. The honeymoon will be over.” She shrieked as Jane was instantly on her lifting her up holding her face to face. Maura immediately wrapped her arms and legs around the stronger woman.

“Let me inform you mate that the honeymoon, as you say, will never be over and if what Lord Fenrir says is true our need and love for each other will only grow stronger through the centuries. That is how it happens with true lifemates who are basically immortal. It helps keep them happy and healthy throughout their long lives.” Jane closed her teeth over her first mating mark through the pink shirt.

Maura clung to her moaning. “Good to know we have centuries of wedded bliss ahead of us.”

Relaxing her hold allowing her love to glide back down to the floor Jane kissed her thoroughly. “I certainly look forward to it.” The raven haired Alpha breathed once they parted. “I am done with all the emails. I even sent one to Bethany and Jo Friday. Do you need any help with anything before we go out to talk with Marcus and Evie?”

“I have all of our things put away in the trunks except for what we have on and our outfits for later. I put our toiletries and some of our smaller things in the small trunk and set it in the bathroom. We need to take the laptop out with us so we can put it in our personal safe in the vault. Other than that we are done.”

“Good.” She snatched up the computer bag. “Let’s go find out what to expect upon our arrival.”

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What do you think? I admit I am a little excited about finally getting to get to Undrehiel. I have lots of ideas about it, we will just have to see how those ideas coalesce once I go putting them down on paper or in Word I guess I should say. Please let me know how you think I’m doing, reviews are great motivation. Hoping to hear from you soon, Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 18

Evie and Ashley were both dressed comfortably in t- shirts and sweats or shorts. The men however had changed into brown pants that appeared similar to canvas, yet soft and pliable. They all three wore what Jane would call pirate style shirts with loose sleeves. The only difference was that Warren and Tony’s shirts were dark blue and Marcus’ was creamy off-white. The three of them also had on brown leather vests. The two lesser Lycans had very little ornamentation on theirs other than pack affiliation and the symbol of Wolfe Security and Investigation pressed into the material. However, Marcus had the additional insignias of his rank as owner of the Security Company and Alpha Leader of not only a large pack of his own, but the Head Alpha of all the Lycans of North America in the human world. They all three had on dark brown leather belts and boots. They looked powerful. 

“Nice outfits. I like the vests.” Jane said as she looked over the men.

“They are a very good representation of old world and current fashion.” Maura commented.

“They are a good mix of North American and Undrehiel fashion.” Evie corrected. “You will find that styles in areas of Undrehiel with more contact with the human realm, such as cities near the portals, have a culture and dress that is a mix of both realms. However, there are many areas of Undrehiel that are more old world like or maybe fantasy world like. Fashions and culture will not have a lot in common with that of the human realm.”

“That is fine by me, as long as I am not expected to go about wearing big frilly dresses with lots of layers and things. I want to stick with pants or slacks as much as possible.” Jane shuddered at the thought of wearing dresses like she had seen people wearing in movies based in the past. Yuk!

Maura grinned. “I look forward to learning about these new cultures and fashions. I love pretty dresses as you all know.”

A brief chuckle passed among them. “We need to go over who will be waiting at the depot station when we arrive. The five of us will be acting as your personal security and escort. The head of my Undrehiel branch of Wolfe Security will be meeting us along with his top security team. He is a werelion and his mate also is very active in the business and holds the position of his second in command as Evie holds it in my branch. His top team is made up of a mixed bag of beings. I think the only tribe not represented on the team is humans. Lycans, Vampires, Magi, Fae, and Elves are all among his team. I have many of them working for me as well in the human realm, although not as many Fae, since most do not handle the realm of humans well.” Marcus began once Jane and Maura were seated on one of the sofas. “Zeon and his mate Alexi will meet us here for a personal introduction before we escort you to a private conference room at the depot. Their people will be on guard outside of the room and around the station. We do not expect any problems, however it is always a safe bet to be prepared. Word of your existence should not be known outside of The Council. The council is made up of two members from each tribe of beings including humans. Elections are held every ten years among the tribes for the council positions.”

Marcus paused a moment as Tony and Ashley placed drinks and snacks on the table between the sofas before they went back into the kitchen area to eat along with Warren. Evie sat beside Marcus who continued as everyone dug into the food and drinks.

“The elections were held a year ago. All members of The Council were re-elected accept for the humans and one of the magi. So of the twelve current council members all have been members for at least ten years except for three. A few of them from the Elven and Fae tribes have been on the council for much longer. Only the members of The Council have been alerted to your existence by Lord Fenrir himself. Not even the kings or queens of each tribe have been alerted as of yet. The plan is to give you as much time as possible to learn about Undrehiel and the preternatural before they are alerted. You will begin learning the history as well as the etiquette and protocols of both. We hope to be able to keep the knowledge of exactly who you are a secret for twelve to eighteen months before the other kings or queens are notified and longer still before the rest of the realm learns of you. The first part of your lessons will be history, etiquette, protocols, and things of that nature before you move on to the more specialized lessons that will be unique to each of you.” Marcus seized a moment to eat a sandwich while Evie took over.

“One council member from each tribe will meet us in a conference room. We all felt it would not be wise to have the whole council show up, it would bring too much attention to your arrival. The six who are meeting us are all coming in secret. In Undrehiel culture, kings or queens are higher in the realm to the council in public, but in a more private setting it is based on personal power. The power that is inside you that makes you Alpha. Generally when those of the upper ranks gather a simple nodding of the head when meeting is enough, however a test of wills may occur. When this happens the weaker of the two will turn their heads and offer their necks to the more powerful in a show of respect. If they are equally matched you revert to the nodding of the head. If you are challenged and a neck is offered, you will lean in and let them feel your breath on their neck before you back away. If you want to really show dominance you can place your teeth on them, you can even bite and leave a mark behind. However that sort of thing is only usually used if someone has really angered you and they need to be put in their place. Most beings lesser in power than you will automatically bow and bare their necks.”

“Now all Lycans and those of any other tribe who may pledge themselves to you, are basically putting their lives in your hands. When they offer you their necks you have the right to take their lives in such a posture if you deem it necessary as their Alpha. I don’t think either of you will be baring your necks to many if any, though you may find yourself equal with a few. Maura more so than Jane.” She paused a moment to let them absorb.

“On the flip side of that if a being gets down on one knee and offers his or her neck, they are pledging allegiance to you, as all Lycans should. Breathing across their necks before running your fingers across their bared neck shows you accept their allegiance. If you want to accept them into a more close knit fashion as a friend you would let your mouth touch them as you breathe across their necks. If you want to take them into your inner circle you would touch your tongue to their neck.”

Marcus finished off his food and drink placing the remains back onto the table. “I would advise that you not show your full power to anyone unless you need to do so to keep from baring your own throat. You will be able to feel when they can offer no more and you will only have to take it a small step higher.” Ashley came over as Evie stood and helped gather up the remains of their snack.

“Come, stand. Let’s practice a little so you will be better prepared. Now this is not something you will have to do when you are in general public unless someone challenges you. You nod or smile or greet people the same as you have always done. If a stranger challenges you and you back him down you do not have to acknowledge them in anyway if you do not wish to. You can simply go on about your business. Much of this will come naturally to the wolf part of you so it should not be too hard.” Evie moved to the open area between the sitting arrangement and the kitchenette.

Tony, Warren, and Ashley joined her. When Jane stood before them the three lesser Lycans knelt on one knee and offered their necks. Jane was not sure if they were truly pledging allegiance to her or just showing an example. Evie saw this confusion. “They are truly offering their loyalty and commitment to you as their friend and as the King of all Lycans.”

“I am wanting to place my mouth on their necks. I think of them as friends. Is that agreeable with you Maura?” Jane asked through their personal connection.

“I think that is an excellent idea. I will do the same.”

Jane stepped forward breathing across each of their necks with her mouth touching them. She thought she might feel weird doing so yet it felt completely natural. Jane was indeed becoming one with her wolf. Each of the three shivered a little at the contact with such a powerful being. She stepped back, but they remained where they were offering the same pledge to Maura. The golden ginger moved forward doing the same, also feeling no awkwardness in doing so and receiving the same reaction. When they moved back the three stood with wide smiles on their faces.

“That is so cool.” Tony said as he rubbed his neck.

Chuckling Jane and Maura turned to Evie as she stepped forward. “I will challenge Maura and let her practice bringing her power up to the point of backing me down. I will go all out to give her as much challenge as I can, but first I also offer my pledge of loyalty to you both.” She dropped to one knee offering her neck.

Marcus stepped up beside her. “I also offer mine to you both.” He knelt beside his wife neck bared.

“Inner circle?” Jane asked Maura privately.

“Yes.”

Jane and Maura both gave a small lick to the couple’s necks as each woman’s breath brushed across their throats. The two alpha wolves also gave a slight shiver as their pledge was accepted.

Once they had stood Evie and Maura faced off. Evie eased her power up to the highest level she had ever pushed herself. Maura easily met her power and took hers past Evie’s just enough to make her bare her neck. Maura breathed across it.

Evie straightened up breathing heavier than before. “I wasn’t much of a challenge for you at all was I?” She smiled wryly.

Maura only smiled not wanting to let her know how truly easy she found it to go beyond the other woman’s power.

Next Jane and Marcus faced off. Marcus pushed his power just as Evie had done. Evie and the other three guards felt the enormous influence and their posture instinctively became more submissive. His energy simply washed over Jane and Maura with no effect. Jane easily pressed her will forward until Marcus bared his neck in submission. She blew across it to show dominance and to end the challenge.

Marcus straightened. “Evie join your power to mine. You three also.” He pointed to Ashley, Warren and Tony. “We will challenge Maura together and see if we can give her a better contest.” They did so and Maura felt the influence much more, Marcus was a commanding Alpha. However she still backed them all down and felt she had plenty of strength still left to give.

“Impressive.” Warren said.

“Now to give Jane a challenge, Maura you should face off with her and push your power to the max and see how difficult it is for her to back you down.” Marcus suggested.

Maura agreed with a smile. “You ready sweetheart? I’m going to do my best to make you back down.”

“Bring it on, babe.” Jane smiled winking.

Maura slowly built up all that made her Alpha deep inside pushing it towards Jane, when the taller woman seemed unaffected she felt Ashley, Tony, and Warren add their energy to hers, followed by Evie and finally Marcus. They were all pushing their wills to the max.

Jane felt the punch when they all six joined together, however her wolf only raised its head. Jane would not bow to anyone. The powerful King pressed her will upon them and had them all backing down in short order. She felt that she could have backed down power several times stronger than what they offered. “You six pack quite a punch.”

“That was incredible. Maura’s power was stronger than anyone I have ever met before and I have met many powerful preternatural beings, but yours Jane is off the charts.”  Marcus panted from the effort.

“Wow sweetheart that was quite extraordinary.” Maura stepped forward kissing her wife. “I find that show of power a serious turn-on. You are so getting lucky later.”

“Man, now I am not going to be able to concentrate on anything else. Vixen.” Jane kissed her back. “Thanks guys, I guess my stubborn streak will do me well as a Lycan.”

“Seems like it.” Evie glanced over at the clock. “It looks like it is time for us ladies to get dressed for our arrival. I thought Jane could get ready in the other bathroom with Ashley’s assistance and I could help Maura. It won’t take but a moment for me and Ash to get dressed. Our outfits are very similar to the men’s except cut to accentuate the fact that we are indeed female. I figured it would be quicker this way and we would make sure we have enough time to get everything squared away and prepared for our departure afterwards.”

 “Sounds fine to me.” Maura turned to Jane who nodded her ascent. “Jane you can put our laptop in our vault before you join me in gathering your things while Ashley and Evie dress. Then they can help each of us.” In short order the two pairs were in the separate sleep chambers while the men cleaned up the kitchenette and main area.

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Jane was the first dressed, she was surprised that the outfit wasn’t uncomfortable. Actually it was one of the most comfy things she had ever worn. The cut and fit were absolutely perfect. Ashley helped her pull her hair back off of her face so that it trailed down her back and left only a few wisps in the front and on the sides. The sword belt and sword were strapped at her hip. The two elven knives she purchased at the depot station were also on her person, one on the opposite hip as her sword, and the other in her boot. After slipping the jacket into place Ashley turned up a section on her arm that Jane hadn’t noticed before, under the section the material had been mostly cut away to create little windows that showed the Royal band on her arm.

“It can easily be turned back down when you want to hide the band or you just get cold.” Ashley smiled.

Jane put on some small black and deep purple earrings and a chocker necklace with a large dark purple stone hanging from it. The necklace hung just below the hollow of her neck and somehow dressed up and drew even more attention to the fact that she was showing off lots of skin.  Ashley also helped her with her make-up. They darkened her eyes, accentuated her cheekbones, and brought attention to her mouth.  “Thanks for assisting me with all this.” Jane said as she checked her make-up and hair one last time in the small mirror.

“You’re welcome. It was fun.”Once the jacket was adjusted Ashley twirled her finger indicating Jane to turn around.

When the dark haired woman did she was stunned. “I look like I should be in a medieval Matrix movie, but I gotta say I like it. I would so kick Neo’s ass.” She winked at Ashley grinning.

Ashley laughed. “I have no doubt.” She gathered up all of the other woman’s things double checking to make sure she had them all.

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It took a little longer for Maura to dress, but not by much. She loved the outfit. It was light and comfortable and hugged her body in all the right places. The short Capri style leggings underneath were different, nonetheless she liked them. She supposed they were there in case she had to run or fight in the dress and needed to pull her skirts up out of the way. She put on the jewelry Jane had given her at their wedding and the earrings she had that matched. Her make-up as usual was flawless and her hair framed her face fanning around her shoulders and back. The shoes fit perfectly as well. The doctor also attached her rapier at her side. Maura was very happy with what she saw in the mirror. She began putting the things that she had taken off and anything else of hers and Jane’s left in the bathroom into the trunks.

“I really appreciate all your help.” She packed all the jewelry, make-up, and toiletries into the smaller trunk. “Could you go and retrieve Jane’s things so I can pack them away. I’m sure she’s dressed by now.”

“It was a pleasure helping. I really love the dress, you look great in it.” Evie opened the bathroom door. “I will be right back with Jane’s things.”

Evie was met at the door by Ashley who was already bringing over the other woman’s belongings. “Ah, just what I was looking for.” She took them from the younger woman. “Thanks.”

“No problem. Do you need any more help?”

“Not yet, but we will have the guys come and get the trunks shortly.” She stepped back shutting the door.

It wasn’t long before Maura had the last of their belongings stored away in the trunks and she and Evie went over the room and in-suite with a fine tooth comb to make sure nothing was forgotten. She picked up the slim black leather wallet that carried Jane’s new id, exchange cards, and funds. She also gathered the small white clutch purse that now carried her new things. It was time to truly step into a new world.

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When Maura stepped out of the bedroom the men stopped what they were doing and stared. They all three bowed deeply.

“You look lovely my Queen.” Marcus said.

She nodded to them and they rose. “Thank you, you gentlemen are very kind. Where is Jane?”

Warren waved to the other sleeping area. “She is helping Ashley finish packing and they are looking over the bedroom and bathroom for anything anyone may have missed. We are doing the same out here. Are you and Jane’s trunks ready to go my lady?”

It was going to take some time to get used to being called my lady. “Yes, I would appreciate it if you three could bring our trunks out here to join your luggage. It will be good having all our belongings gathered together.”

Ashley came out carrying her and Evie’s bags. She stopped and bowed to Maura as well. She rose when Maura nodded to her. “Wow Lady Maura you look amazing. You and Jane will be quite the pair.” She set the bags with the men’s and moved out of the way as Tony came out carrying the smaller trunk with Warren following him guiding the larger one as Marcus pushed it on the dolly.

“Thank you.”

“I don’t see anything else.” Came Jane’s voice from the other room before she stepped through the door. Though only a part of a few of her mating marks showed you could see them glow as she spotted her lovely mate. “Maura I don’t believe I have ever seen a more lovely and regal Queen in all the history books, movies, and fairy tales I have ever seen or read. You are exquisite.” She slowly strolled forward.

Maura was stunned at how striking Jane looked in the black leather outfit. It fit her like a glove showing off her superbly fit body and long elegant limbs. She really liked the exposed cleavage and defined abs. “You look so powerful and dangerous Jane. You are stunning.” Her mating marks were glowing as well.

The others in the room bowed as the gorgeous woman in black entered. She nodded to them to rise as she leaned into her wife. “I would go for a kiss, but I don’t want to muss your lipstick or mine.” She leaned back grinning. “You are beautiful sweetheart. I think that every morning when we wake up together and I don’t know how you do it, but you manage to grow lovelier every day.” She did chance a light kiss on her lovely wife’s lips.

“You are such a romantic my dear and I love that about you. You are a big strong badass warrior for everyone else while charming and gallant for me. I really am lucky to have such a wonderful and sexy mate.” She placed a feathery kiss across the taller woman’s mouth before turning to stand by her mate with her arm through Jane’s resting on a strong forearm.

“You two look breathtaking together. I don’t think any of the council members that are meeting you at the depot will have any trouble believing you are who you say you are.” Evie said.

“And if they do the two of you can simply flatten the room with your Alpha force.” Warren teased with a smile.

Before anyone could reply the tinny voice returned. “We will be pulling into the Undrehiel Depot Station of Vardinia in five minutes time. Please make sure all overhead compartments are secured and find your seats. Those in private compartments that will be disconnecting from the line for the return trip please stay seated until a depot officer clears your compartment from the disconnection.”

“Well it looks like we will be arriving in only a few minutes. Let’s all get comfortable we won’t be able to open our door until a depot officer releases it. They check to make sure the compartments getting disconnected from the rotation are completely clear of the in-between before releasing the door.” Marcus explained.

“Sounds like a good idea. Is Vardinia a town or just the name of the Depot Station?” Jane felt a little nervous, but bubbles of excitement were coursing through her as well. She squeezed Maura’s hand tight as they sat together on one of the sofas. Ashley joining them.

“It is a pretty prosperous town, you may even consider it a city. The Vardinia Station is one of the most prosperous because it opens up so close to so many major areas of influence in the human realm. There are two other depots on the North American Continent. One is hidden within the Grand Canyon and the other is near the border where Washington, Idaho, and Canada meet.” Evie sat with Warren and Tony much as she did when they departed from Maine.

Marcus was once again in the lone chair. “Undrehiel has a few large continents made up of provinces that are in turn made up of cities, towns, and villages.” 

“We have so much to learn about this world. I hope we learn quickly, because I do not enjoy feeling ignorant.” Maura leaned into her mate for comfort.

“We are both intelligent women honey. I’m sure we will do well in all of the classes that are set up for us and all this will be old hat in no time.” Jane wasn’t sure who she was trying to comfort more, Maura or herself. “Remember sweetheart as long as we work together we can conquer anything.”

They all felt the slight bobbling as their compartment was removed from the cycle. They all experienced a sensation similar to their ears popping after a long flight as the compartment completely left the in-between.

“I feel kind of like a grand adventurer from an Indiana Jones movie or something or maybe it’s a little more like Journey to the Center of the Earth. Either way I am excited about adventuring with you.” Jane shared with her wife.

“Me too sweetheart although I don’t think I have ever actually watched an Indiana Jones movie, but I did see some commercials and they looked exciting if not terribly historically accurate.” Maura fought a laugh as Jane turned to her and she could just see the “Really, Maura?” in her eyes.

Jane simply shook her head when she saw the sparkling eyes of the woman she loved.

They all heard the door lock release. Marcus stood. “Well are you ladies ready to take your first step into a new world?”

Jane shrugged. “About as ready as we’ll ever be.” She and Maura both stood as did the others. All of their new friends also wore swords and knives, some even had small crossbows not much bigger than a gun.

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Hope you enjoyed. Please let me know what you thought. Your words are an inspiration. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 19

A very specific knock sounded on the door. “That is Zeon.” Evie explained as Marcus went to the door giving it a special knock in answer.

Jane and Maura found themselves at the back of the pack. Their friends were now in full security mode. They had all placed themselves between the Royal couple and the door before Marcus opened it.

A large man easily six and a half feet tall stood there resembling the Vikings of old. His clothing and that of those with him were similar to Marcus’ and their other friends. The differences were that the man at the door and his second’s shirts were a pale tan and the rest of his group’s were maroon. Also the clan affiliations pressed into their vests were different.

Jane and Maura had learned at the depot station before leaving that they could feel the differences in beings, it was instinctive for them. It seemed even more so now, as their magic was awakened.

The two Alpha males greeted each other with a nod and a hearty hand shake that was the clasping of each other’s forearm instead of hands only. The two Alpha females greeted in the same manner.

“It’s been a while Evie. It’s good to see you and your mate doing well.”

“Yes, it has and it is good to see the same of you Alexi.” The two women stepped apart. “Has everything been arranged for our arrival? Is all secured for the meeting?”

“Everything is arranged. You must have some very important beings with you to have that particular group gathering to greet them.” Zeon said as he and Marcus were both attempting to avoid naming names in case of prying ears.

“Come, you and those of your team may join us before we depart.” Marcus stepped back.

Zeon gave orders to four of his team to stay in the corridor on guard. He, his mate, and four others stepped into the room. The suite had seemed a nice size before, however was getting significantly smaller as each being stepped over the threshold.

Once the door was closed the room was magically sound proofed and they could speak freely.

“Zeon, you and your team must take an oath to keep anything you learn here a secret. Swear by those on High.” Marcus demanded as he and his pack continued to block the newcomers’ views of Jane and Maura.

In unison upon Zeon’s nod they all six brought fists over their hearts and so swore.

Marcus only nodded in acceptance. “Lord Fenrir, God on High, has been in personal communication with me and given me, my mate, and our top team a great task. A task which you and your top team are now a part of.” He paused to build the suspense a bit with his old friend. “He has spoken with a few others in Undrehiel to help prepare for their arrival. The need for all the secrecy is because those with us are new to our world and must learn more before they publically take up their roles.”

“What or should I say who are you talking about?”

The large Alpha wolf smiled. “The time has once again come as legend promised. Laird Raven and Lady Snow, the King and Queen of all Lycan kind are among us once more.”

Evie chuckled at the stunned looks on the six newcomers faces.

“They have truly returned?” Alexi sounded awestruck.

“They are truly the heirs of the first Lord and Lady. Gifted personally by the Gods and Goddesses on High.” Evie informed.

The six gazes now searched beyond Marcus, Evie, and their team.

Jane took Maura’s hand and they moved forward to stand between Marcus and Evie as Ashley, Warren, and Tony gave way to them.

“It is good to meet you all. Marcus and the others have spoken highly of you.” Jane greeted cordially.

Zeon, Alexi, and the others eyes took in everything about the powerful Lycans, not missing a thing. They all six saw the Bands of Royalty each wore.

They all put fists to heart and bowed. “It is our great honor to meet you, Your Majesties.” Zeon spoke for his group.

The Royal couple nodded and the group straightened. Zeon was at a loss, not sure what to say to the two beautiful women. Lady Snow looked elegant, capable, intelligent, and strong. He could also feel a strong sense of compassion and curiosity coming from her. Laird Raven was a whole different kettle of fish. She was equally as beautiful, but she had an amazing aura of command unlike even the ancient Fae and Elven leaders. It seemed to be a born ability within her not something she had to learn. The dark haired woman also appeared intelligent and capable, however you could see in her eyes and posture she could also be dangerous and deadly. There was little doubt in his mind that they were who Marcus said they were.

Evie helped break the tension a bit. “It has been a few days shy of two weeks since they were gifted and became aware of our world. They have done amazingly well handling everything so far. They have been close for a long time, but became true mates after they were gifted and we all attended their beautiful wedding ceremony where they exchanged vows according to human law as well. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a couple more meant for each other.” She spoke to them all, but her gaze was directed on her old friend Alexi.

“So they don’t have their full Alpha powers yet?” Asked a vampire standing by the door. He was tall with dark hair and eyes with a slim muscular build.

“I don’t know if we are at full power or not, however you may attempt to back me up if you wish.” Jane kept a calm and cool demeanor as she spoke.

“I am not the most powerful among us. That would be our leader, Zeon.” The vampire looked to his boss.

“Tell you what, the six of you band together and face my mate whom everyone from Marcus’ pack here knows for a fact I am more powerful than. If the six of you can push her back even a little then I will give you all a shot.” Jane issued the challenge. “They need to see you as powerful as well sweetheart. They are already dismissing you as the little woman. Make them bow to you, but don’t show too much of your true will to them.”

“No problem, darling. This may be fun.” Maura squeezed her wife’s hand before letting go. She faced the six alone.

 The Alpha lion knew this needed to be done to positively prove to the others the power of the couple and he admitted he was a little bit curious himself. He took his mate’s hand and felt the other’s place hands on their shoulders before they all six began to raise their wills and direct their full force upon the woman in white.

Maura felt it, yet it was barely a tingle to her and washed around her harmlessly. She easily had the six bowing before her. She leaned forward and breathed across Zeon’s neck since he was their leader and the six rose in wonder.

“You weren’t affected at all.” Alexi sounded breathless.

“I felt it, but no, I wasn’t really effected.” Maura was always truthful.

“That’s incredible.” Came from a willowy female Elf standing beside the Vampire.

A bulky man with brownish skin, hair, and eyes turned to Jane. “And you are even more powerful?”

She could feel he was some type of Fae that was very close to the earth and soil. “Yes.”

A cocky redhead stepped up. He raked his shaggy hair from his face grinning arrogantly. “You may have strong wills however a powerful Magi, such as myself, can usually move Lycans and Vampires with magic. Some Elves and Fae can too. Lycans and Vamps are often more powerful physically or with their wills, yet have no resistance to true magic.” He lashed out without warning at Jane.

She automatically put her hand up and caught the magic hurled towards her letting it build as the redheaded man sent more at her. Her feral grin rose as he began to sweat and shake. She pushed the magic back wrapping him in it. She raised her hand as he was completely enveloped, as his own magic was turned against him. He rose into the air and was held flat against the ceiling.  “The next time you attack me unprovoked I won’t be so nice. Do you understand?” Her voice held deadly menace.

“Yes, your highness. I understand. I am really sorry. Honest.”

She slowly lowered him towards the ground until he was about three feet off the floor and released the magic holding him letting him drop. He landed with a distinct oomph.

“Ethan get up.” Zeon was furious. “I can’t believe you challenged Laird Raven without warning. You deserve much worse than what she gave you. You will spar every morning with all of the enforcers as well as myself and Alexi. You will also be on extra duties.” He informed his team member.

Ethan slowly got to his feet. “Yes, sir.” He turned to Jane and bowed low baring his neck. “I hope you forgive me my arrogance, your highness.”

Jane stood quiet letting him hold his position for long moments before finally breathing across his neck.

The man stood grinning. “Even though I got my ass handed to me that was bloody incredible. I haven’t been that easily magically trounced since I was a youngling.”

Warren laughed then. “And she did that to you buddy without any training. Their magic has only begun to awaken.”

“Man, if they can do that now, I wouldn’t want to face them after they’re fully trained.” Ethan said with astonishment.

Maura slid her hand into Jane’s. “That was amazing, dear. How did you know how?”

“I don’t know. I reacted on instinct. My magic rose to my call and did what I wanted it to.” She squeezed Maura’s hand in return.

“Well, it was really sexy. I am finding I really like this strong masterful side of you.”

“Remind me of that later when we are alone, sweetheart.” The dark haired woman sent loving warmth through their private link.

“We should probably inform the four other members of your top team who they are, but first we should put names to faces.” Evie pointed to the redhead. “You have met Ethan the team Magi enforcer. The tall female Elf in the back is Jaden. The Vampire beside her is Nolan, and Silas is next to him. He is a member of the Fae tribe, an earth elemental.” They each nodded as Evie introduced them.

Alexi turned to her mate. “We can send these four out into the hall and allow the other four in.” Zeon agreed.

In moments the guards had switched and four Lycans stood where the others had, two females and two males. From their scents one of the females was a tiger, she had short spiky auburn hair. The other was also a form of cat, however not one the Royal couple had encountered yet. One of the males was a wolf and the other a coyote.

Zeon informed them of who the couple was after they were also sworn to secrecy. He shared with them what happened with the others and they too bowed with fists over their hearts. “An honor to meet you, Your Majesties.” They chorused.

The couple bobbed their heads in acknowledgement and they rose. “A pleasure to meet you four.” Maura returned.

Alexi introduced the four. The female tiger was Lauren. The other woman who had straight jet black hair to her mid-back was a panther by the name of Maxine, ‘Max’. The male wolf with shoulder length sandy hair was Grady and the shorter man with the wiry build and brown shaggy hair, who was a coyote, was Hector.

Once the introductions were finished they got down to business.

“I take it you have more of your security force around the depot?” Marcus began.

“Yes, my people are scattered throughout the depot and at all entrances and exits. I also have them guarding the transpo you arranged. I have three members of my team standing by at the end of the hall with a luggage trolley to take your things to it. The Council members are in a private conference chamber near the private entrance to the station. We should easily be able to get there without much public interference if we stick to the VIP corridors.”

“Good, I take it the Council members also have their usual bodyguards with them?”

“Yes, each member has three. One of each is in the room with them, one posted outside the conference room, and the others are patrolling with my people.”

There was silence a moment as the Alpha thought. “That means one guard for each of you, Laird Raven.” Marcus turned to Jane. “I would suggest myself as one and even though you both know Evie better, I would suggest Zeon as the other. He is equal to me in power and rank.”

Jane turned to Maura who gave a slight shake of ascension. “That is agreeable to the both of us. We would like Evie and Alexi to be our security at the door. I want Ashley and Ethan to escort the team members with our things to the transpo and make sure the vehicle is secure. I feel more comfortable having some presence I am familiar with there. The others can patrol as you see fit.”

The two Alphas easily agreed.

“Call your people to come get our things” Marcus advised. “Ashley and Ethan will go with them and the rest of us will escort our Laird and Lady to the conference room.”

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In short order the luggage was gone and Jane and Maura took their first steps out of the room and into Undrehiel. The corridor was wide. Six people could easily walk abreast. The guards formed around the Royal couple. Grady and Jaden were in the lead walking side by side. Next also side by side was Nolan, Marcus, and Lauren. Jane and Maura followed with Evie and Alexi on either side of them. Behind them was Hector, Zeon, and Tony walking abreast with Silas, Maxine, and Warren bringing up the rear. The security team was taking no chances with the charges the Gods themselves had given them to protect.

It was a great honor to be the security team for the legendary Lycan leaders.

Upon reaching the conference room those not entering or staying by the doors were told to patrol once the couple was safely within the room.

Evie and Alexi opened the doors after a brief knock. Zeon entered first followed by Jane and Maura. Maura’s arm was through Jane’s like before with her hand resting on a strong forearm. Marcus followed them in making sure the door was secured behind them.

Zeon and Marcus stood on either side of the Royal couple, however one step back, as they met the six Council members.

They all six wore their Council robes, each tribe wore a different color, however all had the same gold trim and Council insignia. A man in a silver robe stepped forward offering a dip of his head. “I am Mendaiven, one of the Elven Council members. I would like to welcome you both to Undrehiel on behalf of the entire Council. It is our great honor and pleasure to meet you both.”

The couple acknowledged the greeting. “We are excited to be here. Thank you for the gracious welcome. It is a pleasure to meet such esteemed members of Undrehiel.” Jane greeted.

“Jane that was really well done. You are so good at this King stuff.”

Jane fought to keep a straight face.

Mendaiven turned to a female fairy who wore a sky blue robe. She also had beautiful gossamer wings on her back outside her robes. “This is Sailenay. A council member from the Fae tribe.” The woman with pale golden hair smiled and lowered her head in greeting.

The couple returned it as the Elf went to the next member who was a man with salt and pepper hair and mustache. “This is Candovar, a Magi member of the Council.” He wore deep blue robes and copied the fairy’s greeting.

The Elf moved on once Candovar stepped back. A tall man with whitening blonde hair looking to be around fifty stepped forward in teal colored robes “This is Mason. He is one of the Human members of the Council.” He greeted them as the others had. They returned it and he stepped back.

“This is Valldarion. She is a Vampire member of the Council.” A tall elegant, yet gangly, woman stepped forward greeting them. She wore deep burnt red robes.

When she stepped back Mendaiven waved to a large bulky man a little over six feet tall with a wide and burly build crowned with dark hair to his shoulders and a dark mustache and beard. “This is Ingorod, a bear Lycan and member of the Council.” He said with a worried look on his face when the bear in green robes did not nod to them.

Ingorod’s voice was low and gravelly when he spoke. “I know Lord Fenrir said you were the ones, yet I do not feel comfortable giving pledge to you as my sovereign without giving challenge. My fellow Lycan counterpart and I have been the strongest of the Lycans for almost twenty years. I am the stronger of the two of us. I challenge you to a test of wills.”

Maura quirked her eyebrow at him. “Are you challenging me or my mate?”

“I challenge The King, my Lady. She is the one who is the ultimate leader of our tribe.”

Maura only nodded giving Jane’s arm a squeeze before stepping back to stand between Marcus and Zeon.

“Your challenge is accepted, give me all that you have.” Jane stood in a relaxed pose, arms at her side opening herself up for the challenge.

Ingorod’s power flared and built. He was a little more powerful than Marcus and Zeon, but not by a great amount and he was not even near half as strong as Maura. Jane stayed in her relaxed pose as the man began to show distinct signs of stress with the effort and his face was turning beet red.

Jane slowly brought her will forward gently easing the bear back not wanting to embarrass him by throwing him backwards. She forced him to take a small step and give her a slight bow of his head. She held it there going no further. Jane released him when he bared his neck. She stepped forward performing the ritual to end the challenge before straightening and joining Maura once more.

“You are indeed powerful, you’re Majesty. It has been many years since I have been defeated.”

“You did very well Ingorod. I am glad to have one as strong as you in my tribe.”

“You gained much respect from the rest of the room too, dear. They all watched that challenge closely to see if you could actually do it.”

“Lord Fenrir may have told them who we are nonetheless often it takes seeing to fully believe.”

“Yes it does. I have a feeling we will have to do more proving in the near future.”

Jane sent her agreement as she and Maura turned to Mendaiven. “That was quite impressive, Laird Raven.” He waved to a conference table behind him. “Let’s have a seat and we can discuss the things Lord Fenrir had us arrange.”

The table was round putting no being ahead of the other.

The Elf continued on as spokesperson for the group. “In an attempt to call as little attention to us all being here as possible this meeting will be brief. We also understand that for you both it has already been a long day whereas here the day is just beginning.” He adjusted his robes as he sat waiting patiently for everyone to do the same before continuing. “Our world has waited a long time for the appearance of the heirs of Lord Raven and Lady Snow. Once it is public knowledge that you are indeed once again among us, many will journey to the AccuLarentia Province to try and get a glimpse of the two of you. The leaders of the other tribes will also arrive to formally welcome you.” He waved his hand towards the bear Lycan. “I am afraid many more challenges similar to that one are in your future until you fully establish yourselves.”

“We both are expecting the same. It is the main reason we need as much time under the radar as possible to learn of this world and its customs before we step into the public arena.” Maura affirmed.

The Council gestured agreement. “All of us on the Council have made arrangements for individuals, each held in high regard in their particular field, to come to you and help you prepare for your new roles in life.”

“Are we going to be staying in AccuLarentia Province during our training and adjustment period?” Jane was excited for the meeting to be over so she and Maura could see the world outside the depot station.

“No, it would be too easy for knowledge of you to get out. You will be going to your private home. The one left to you by the previous King and Queen. It is hidden to everyone but those of the small province it is in. No one really knows where it is except for the residents because the whole small province is magically hidden. The people of Hecation Province do travel and are seen in other places trading their goods and wares. Many beings have attempted to follow them back to their homeland, however they get disoriented, losing their way, and lose track of those they were following.” Sailenay the Fae tribeswoman informed.

Valldarion continued. “There are very few in our world who were alive when your predecessors lived among us, even within the Fae and Elves who have much longer life spans. Those of Hecation are descendants of those who lived and served the first Lycan King and Queen. According to Fenrir the home has been maintained in perfect order. Ready for the new King and Queen to take up residence on a moment’s notice. I am sure that they too will be eager to assist you in your preparations and training. Many of our greatest warriors and healers have come from there over the past generations.”

“Much talent and great craftsmanship comes from Hecation.” Stated Mason, the Human Council member. “Everything from warriors, healers, scholars, artisans, and craftsman, all extraordinarily talented, come from the province.”

“That is about all we have to impart at the moment. Zeon will be our liaison to you. We can communicate with him without problem or suspicion. He will know how to get messages to you and will help us arrange the delivery of our experts when their times to join you arrive.”

“That is agreeable.” Jane knew that Zeon would be one of their advisors once Marcus and Evie had to return to the human realm.

The Elf and other members of the Council stood. Maura and Jane following suit. “It has been a pleasure meeting you both and we will do all we can to keep your existence a secret until you wish it to be otherwise.” Mendaiven shook each of their hands in the way of the human realm. “I look forward to our next meeting.”

Jane and Maura exchanged cordial farewells with the other members.

The couple faced the group before allowing the guards to open the doors. “It has been a pleasure and an honor meeting you all and we both look forward to getting to know you and working with you as our futures march together.” Jane nodded to them all, receiving slight bows of salute.

Two Council guards bowed to them as they opened the doors. Zeon led the way through with Marcus at their backs. The Royal couple eagerly greeted their party.

As they made their way down the empty corridor to the private exit Maura leaned into her wife speaking low. “You completely nailed the whole King persona. You were great sweetheart.”

“Thanks, it seemed to come naturally. I didn’t really think about it. I have been following my instincts since we arrived here. You sounded very regal yourself and carried yourself with grace and elegance. I think we did well back there.” Without breaking stride she eased her head down sharing a quick kiss with her Queen. “Now let’s go see what this new world is like.”

Maura smiled in agreement and equal excitement as the two women turned seeing the doors to the outside world appear as they rounded the last corner.

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Well, tell me what you think. It really makes my day when I hear from you. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 20

Jane and Maura stepped out into the morning light provided by two suns each looked to be a little over half the size of the sun in the human realm. Both women lifted their hands to shield their eyes as their sight adjusted. When their eyes normalized to the new environment, they saw that they were on a large stone plateau carved into the side of a mountain, very high up the mountain too. They stepped to the railing and looked out at the glorious view. The mountains around them and the valley below were breathtaking. The plateau they were on was separate from the much larger one they could see coming from a different area of the mountain.

A long and winding stone staircase led from the large plateau down to the bottom of the mountain. There was a road leading into the town they could see in the distance built into the hills and plains of the valley. A hanging cable car system was also available to take passengers to and from the depot station.

“I think I would much prefer the cable cars to those stairs. I would probably end up going down like Po and I don’t have his cushion to bounce.” Jane joked getting laughs from those around her familiar with the human realm.

“You could always ride a firework powered chair down.” Maura laughed at the surprised look on her love’s face.

“You have actually seen Kung Fu Panda?”

“Yes, you watched it with your mother on my large television. Later, I found it still in the player and watched it. It was a delightful tale.”

“I find that incredibly appealing, dear.” Jane kissed her adorable mate.

Alexi smiled at the pair. They really were perfect together. “I don’t know much about that, however your transport is waiting around the corner there.” She pointed to a walkway that lead around an outcropping of rocks.

The couple followed their lead guards, both stopping dead in their tracks when they saw their transportation, hardly able to believe their eyes.

“Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Jane felt giddy at what she saw. She was fighting not to run and act like a total kid to get a better look.

“If you are seeing a ship moored to the side of the mountain then we are seeing the same thing.” Maura was equally as eager to explore the craft.

“My god it looks like a Galleon with a few features of a Brigand. It’s glorious. Will you look at those sails, they’re huge. There’s even a crow’s nest. I gotta go up there.” Jane was moving forward again, her and Maura’s gazes fixed on the beautiful ship.

“I am impressed with your knowledge, dear. Look at the sails, they look like they are pillowed. They’re puffed out full of air. They must be at least double layered and then filled with hot air, helium, or something of that nature to help keep the craft afloat. It still doesn’t seem like enough even as big as these sails are to keep it in the air.” Maura observed.

“Open your senses, sweetheart. There is magic in the air. Those inflated sails alone aren’t the only thing helping this magnificent ship live.”

She did so, feeling what her love was talking about.

Ashley, Ethan, and a man dressed in dark trousers, a white shirt, and a grey jacket that went to mid-thigh waited for them by the gangway. The three guards who helped with the luggage were standing sentry around the area along with a few others.

The three waiting for them all gave a short quick bow when they appeared. “My Laird, all your luggage has been locked in your cabin. Ethan and I toured the ship and all is secured and in readiness.” Ashley gestured to the dark haired man in the grey jacket with longish hair pulled back in a leather tie at the nape of his neck. “This is the Captain of your ship Braylon Donovan. He and all of the ship’s crew are Hecation and aware of the situation. This vessel was designed and built with the two of you in mind upon the orders of Lord Fenrir and Lady Vivienne.”

“Thank you Ashley, Ethan.” Jane turned to the Captain offering her hand. He seemed startled, but quickly offered his. Jane clasped his forearm. “It is a pleasure meeting you. My mate and I have heard fine things about the beings of Hecation.” She released his arm stepping back. “This is a grand ship and we look forward to our trip upon her and hope for a tour as well.”

“It is a great honor to meet you and your lovely mate, Laird. I would be happy to take you on a tour myself. We have a meal prepared and ready to serve when you so desire in the Royal dining area. Unless you would prefer a more private meal in your cabin, we can arrange that as well. While you dine we will take the ship down to the valley and drop anchor. I was told you wished to visit the village of Vardinia there before we depart.”

“That all sounds lovely Captain Donovan.” Maura smiled at him. “Please lead the way. We will freshen up before joining you in the dining room.”

He gave a quick bow. “As you wish, my lady.” He turned leading the way up the gangway.

 

Jane and Maura were both taking in as much as they could as they boarded the ship. The wood gleamed and the craftsmanship of everything was exquisite. They were led towards the rear of the ship or the stern. They went up a short flight of steps to the quarterdeck. Two doors opened up behind the wheelhouse and between the stairways that led up to the sterncastle deck, then up to the poopdeck.

“This is the Grand Cabin.” The Captain stood aside to allow them entry.

The couple entered a finely appointed receiving room designed to meet and chat with guests, which also held a table against one wall with maps slid into cubby holes around it. There were navigation tools stored in a few. Another large door opened up in the back of the room and to the left of the door a spiral staircase led upwards.

“The staircase takes you to the Royal Dining room. A pocket door slides open at the top. This is the Grand Receiving room and beyond that door is your private quarters.” The Captain explained.

Jane opened the beautifully carved door. Inside they found an elegant yet comfortable sitting room with sofa and chairs and a small dining area for intimate gatherings. Small doors opened up on either side of the room onto what looked like slim balconies. Windows ran along the sides of the cabin and would give excellent views of the scenes around them. There was even a baby grand piano in one corner of the large area and a fireplace in another. It was all very beautiful. They walked to the door in the back of the sitting room. Behind another carved entrance they found the glorious bedroom, bath, and dressing area. There were a few more windows on the sides, but the eye was drawn to the grand windows at the rear of the area.

The chamber was two levels. The lower, where they entered had two huge wardrobes for their clothes, bookshelves on one wall with a comfortable sofa nearby, and a reading lamp attached to the wall. A beautifully decorated screen to one side hid a large bathing area with a marble tub and shower, and raised double sinks. A frosted glass door to the side, which Jane opened, held the toilet. It was a really great bathroom. Maura liked the lighted seating area designed for putting on make-up and doing one’s hair.

Over the back half of the room was the open second floor. A curved staircase led up to an area holding an ornately sculpted King sized four poster bed. The windows across the back of the ship would give a lovely view as they now stood at the uppermost part of the ship. There was a loveseat and another small fireplace opposite the bed. All in all the whole cabin lived up to its name, Grand!

“This is indeed a Grand cabin, Captain. We love it.” Jane smiled at the man.

“Yes, it is Captain! The craftsmanship and artistry in every detail is magnificent! We will be extremely comfortable here.” Maura smiled with excitement.

Captain Donovan smiled back at the two gorgeous women. “I am glad you like it. I will leave you now. When you are ready simply go up the spiral stairs in the receiving room and through the sliding door. I will see you there.” He bowed once more before leaving them alone. The others except for Marcus, Evie, Zeon, and Alexi had been shown to their quarters while the couple toured the Grand Suite.

“This is an amazing cabin. We will leave you now to freshen up. Jaden and Warren will be on guard outside your cabin for now. Once Ashley or Tony finish their meal they will replace Warren so he too can eat. It will take a day or two to adjust to the time shift, but if we can manage to stay awake until night sets in it will help us all adjust that much sooner.” Evie waved the others out of the room. “We will meet you in the dining room.” She followed the others out shutting the doors firmly behind her.

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Jane pulled Maura tightly to her. “Do you believe this ship? It’s amazing. It’s like something out of a fairy tale. We are on a freaking flying ship!” The Laird was grinning from ear to ear. “Oh man, I forgot to ask her name. A ship this grand must have a good one. They said it was our ship. Do you think that means like just our transportation for now or our ship, like ‘our’ ship?”

The light caught all the reds and browns in dark honey colored hair as the smaller woman laughed in delight at the childlike excitement of her mate. Standing on tip-toe Maura kissed her hard on the lips. “You my dear are utterly adorable. We can ask about the name and ownership at dinner, sweetheart. I too love this ship. The workmanship throughout so far is amazing. It is like they blended old world with elegant modern convenience. I can hardly wait to tour the rest of the vessel.”

It was the dark haired woman’s turn to laugh at the intrigued gleam in her wife’s eyes. She knew Maura would be inspecting every detail of the craft. Jane pulled her tight against her finding joy in the simple pleasure of holding her. “I love you so much. It is so great sharing this adventure with you.”

Snuggling into the taller woman’s embrace, Maura sighed in pure contentment and bliss. She ran her arms around her love inside her leather jacket holding her just as tightly enjoying the loving warmth of the embrace.

The couple stood together like that for long minutes taking pleasure in the quiet moment.

Reluctantly, they pulled apart. “We better hurry up Jane. They will be holding the meal for us.” The shorter woman stepped back looking her mate over. “I think you should leave your jacket here. You will be too hot in it to eat and I think it would be good for the Captain, crew, and the new security team to see just how fit you are under it. Perhaps, it may discourage some from challenging us.”

A dark eyebrow quirked at that. “Us?”

“Of course. Some will not challenge you because of the aura of power and danger you project and in turn, they won’t want to do so with me in fear of incurring your wrath.” An impish smile formed on Maura’s lovely face.

Jane chuckled. “Alright. I’ll do my best to look powerful and dangerous. Now let’s freshen up and get up to the dining room. That sandwich from earlier is gone and I’m starving.” With that she shucked off her jacket.

Her mate simply ogled. “I am so lucky.” The smaller woman breathed out loving how Jane looked in only the leather vest, pants, and boots with her weapons and Royal band displayed along with her defined muscles. “Very lucky indeed.” Maura shook herself focusing once again on her loves grinning face. “Come on sexy let’s get to dinner.”

After a few short moments cleaning up they headed up the spiral stairs Jane in the lead.

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Captain Donovan, his First Mate Nina, Marcus, Zeon, Evie, and Alexi were all there when they arrived. They were standing around talking and all unconsciously came to attention when the couple arrived.

Jane smiled. “Let’s all be seated. I don’t know about everyone else, but I am famished.”

The large table could easily sit twelve, two on each end and four on each side. From the looks of the table and the room the couple suspected it could be lengthened to sit at least four additional guests, possibly more. Now, however it was set for eight. Two at the head of the table and three on either side.

Jane escorted Maura to the head of the table seating her comfortably before taking her own seat next to her. The other six did not sit until the Royal couple had.

The wonderful food came in five courses and Maura was pleased to see it was a very well balanced meal.

They were introduced to the First Mate Nina, a whip cord of a woman about five and a half feet tall. Her auburn hair was barely past her shoulders and pulled back much like the Captains, showing off her slightly pointed ears. They discovered during the meal that her mother was an Elf and her father Magi.

Their Captain was full blooded Magi and had a way with wind and water magics. The pair seemed to get on well and the group soon discovered that Nina, who was also Second in Command, was the Captain’s niece. The pair had enjoyed a mutual love of sailing since Nina was very small and took her first trip on one of her Uncle’s ships.

The conversation was easy and enjoyable over the meal. The Royal couple found out the ship had been built for them and was a gift to them from Lord Fenrir and Lady Vivienne. As for the name, that had been chosen with care. They did not want to give away who the owner was yet, but still have it named with them in mind. They chose Raven’s Lady, obscure enough not to give away their secret because naming things after the legendary figures was popular in many areas of Undrehiel. However, the name was also bold enough that when the truth became known it would be obvious who the ship belonged to.

Jane loved that even though her name was on it, the ship was essentially named after her mate. From the smile on her wife’s face she could tell Maura liked it as well. The dark haired woman could also feel it through their mental link.

It was decided that initially Jane and Maura would split up when they went into the city. Maura wanted to shop and since Jane wasn’t too keen on shopping, Marcus and Zeon wanted to take her to the local pig races. They were a big draw for the area. Maura said she would like to hear about them later from Jane, but she would much prefer shopping. The only shopping Jane and her escorts were going to do was at a local armory. The Laird was very interested in the small crossbows some of the security members carried.

 It was further decided everyone would meet up that afternoon at a pub the security team favored when in the area. The couple was informed that clothing was in their wardrobes that would help them blend a little better with the security teams. They should save their current outfits to wear again upon arrival in Hecation where they would not be hiding who they were.

Hecations would be able to speak freely of them within the borders of their Province since outsiders didn’t travel within. However, it was impossible for them to do so outside the Province. None on board the ship would be able to greet them as other than, ma’am, my lady, or my laird. Any reference to Laird Raven, Lady Snow, King, Queen, Your Highness or Majesty was strictly off limits.

The crew was very skilled, they maneuvered the large vessel from the high mountain station to the land marina outside the village with such ease and grace that Jane and Maura barely felt it happening. After the meal, which Jane sent their compliments to the kitchen, the women changed before joining the others on the main deck for departure.

Jane now wore an outfit similar to the security team except her vest, pants, and boots were black and her shirt was deep purple. Her weapons had been put back in place.

Maura wore a similar outfit except with a skirt instead of pants. Her vest, skirt, and boots were a pale sand color and her shirt an emerald green. It accentuated the subtle green accents on her vest, skirt, and boots. Her eyes really popped in the outfit. She had also placed her weapons back on her person.

They stood together as Marcus and Zeon chose the security teams for each woman and Jane informed the Captain to expect several deliveries to be sent to the ship. The woman knew her wife. Maura did not like having such a depleted wardrobe and if quality items to her liking for herself or Jane were found, Maura would purchase them. Jane might even find a few things she liked.

Two security teams were formed. Alexi and Evie headed up Maura’s with Jaden, Lauren, Hector, Ethan, Ashley, and Tony making up the rest of the team. Marcus and Zeon headed up Jane’s with Nolan, Silas, Max, Grady, Warren, and First Mate Nina rounding out her team.

The two teams were basically divided by who preferred shopping vs. the pig races. Ethan was the only grumbler, he wanted to go to the races. No one paid him any mind.

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There was a small river that ran through the town, however it was not near big enough for crafts the size of Raven’s Lady. All of the larger vessels that arrived to the small city were by air.

The land marina they were docked against looked like someone had taken a large section of the Great Wall of China and plopped it down around half of Vardinia. Some vessels like Raven’s Lady were moored with their sides to the dock for on and off loading. However, as the group walked along the wide wall they could see that not many of the ships were passenger carriers or for passengers alone. They were cargo cruisers, huge vessels with balloons of various sizes attached to help them float in the sky.

First Mate Nina informed. “Balloon craft are much slower in air and water than those with sails.” As they walked by the cargo ships that had the straight front or back of their vessels moored to the dock. A portion of the end of the craft, near the dock, lowered to form a ramp as part of the deck of the ship did the same, forming a seamless ramp from the cargo holds up to the wide road across the top the marina wall.

Nina saw how the couple took in the procedure and construction of the cargo ships. “The Raven’s Lady also can carry cargo in her hold. There is an elevator lifting system that raises and lowers the cargo. A section of decking forms a conveyor of sorts and makes on and off loading much easier. I am sure you will get a chance to see it at some point before we return to Hecation. There are certain goods the Province elders would like us to bring back. Also, we have goods from the Province to trade and barter with.”

“Do you not use funds to purchase goods from outside of Hecation?” Maura asked.

“We do, but Hecation goods are highly sought after, so we often get better deals trading and bartering. Some of our goods we will sell outright for funds though.” Nina was glad to answer any questions the Laird and Lady had.

Zeon led the group onto a roundabout section out of the way of the marina traffic. The group parted so that Jane and Maura could move to the railing and get their first good look at the city.

Most every building looked to be made of stone or brick. The streets were paved of brick and stone as well. The city was at the end of a valley between two mountains. There were structures carved into the sides of the mountains continuing down in layers until they reached the valley. It looked like the mountains sprouted buildings until they spilled down the sides and across the valley to meet at the small river running the length of the valley to disappear into the far woods.

From their vantage point they saw a great deal of the colorful city and the flow of people walking, riding on horseback, or in wagons to and from the depot station.

“There is another main road that leads out of the city on the far end. It heads into the forest and through a large tunnel made through the hills coming out on the other side. Not far from the exit of the tunnel the road branches off in many directions.” Alexi said as the two women looked around at sights similar in some ways and utterly foreign in many others.

“Come everyone let’s head down into the city.” Marcus was standing by a locked section of railing that formed a gate. He produced a key unlocking it letting it swing wide. Half of the guards moved down the steps revealed before Jane and Maura were waved through.

“Ladies, further adventure awaits.” Came from Ethan behind them.

The Royal couple descended the wide stairs hand-in-hand surrounded by their protective friends and guards, leaving behind Raven’s Lady and the marina, and venturing into the small city of Vardinia.

As in many cities and towns the area around the marina was the warehouse district. A trolley was arranged to carry them all further into the city. The sides of the trolley were open and had six bench seats. Jane and Maura sat in the third seat back. Evie sat on the outside with Maura in the middle and Jane beside her. Marcus sat behind the dark haired woman not liking her not being protected from the side.

Maura was staring at the unique animals that were pulling the trolley. They looked like a sort of Zebra from the head to the middle of their back, except for the parts that would be white on a zebra were a more brownish tan. The stripes continued down the neck until they slowly disappeared halfway down the animal and the back half of the creature looked like a brown horse.

Evie saw where the woman was looking. “They are extinct in the human realm now, have been for over a hundred years.”

“Quagga!” The fair-haired woman said. “The most famous of Africa’s extinct animals. I knew I recognized it from somewhere. I have read about them, they are a subspecies of the plains zebra. This is fascinating! Are there many species of animal that are extinct in the human world that are living here?”

Jane was also fascinated by the topic and not at all surprised that her wife knew what the animals were.

“Yes, actually. This realm is lush with plant and wildlife. Many species that are extinct or that you may only know of through fiction, fantasy, and folklore exist here. There are not many endangered species in this realm. A multitude of environments exist here that make it easy to keep them all alive.” Evie smiled at the eager and intelligent eyes of both women. “I am sure you will learn more than I ever have about them in your upcoming studies.”

“Isn’t this amazing Jane. We are looking at an animal that has been extinct in the human realm for over a century?”

The arm around her excited wife squeezed tight. “Yes, it is and even more so because I am sharing it with you.” And it was true, Jane had always enjoyed experiencing things through Maura’s eyes. The woman often had a unique vision of things.

Maura smiled up at her sexy mate. “I feel much the same.” They shared a brief kiss before both turned to watch the new world around them as they passed. They saw street vendors hawking their food goods to the workers and customers of the warehouses, as well as, the travelers to and from the marina. Some of the smells were interesting while others were vile and both women wished at that moment they didn’t have such a heightened sense of smell.

They passed through areas that were more residential, with a few store fronts scattered among the homes and apartment style buildings. As they made their way further along to the shopping district of the city, the homes and store fronts became more elaborate and decorative, and the clothing of those they passed looked more trendy and elegant.

Maura’s excitement grew as she noticed this and the things she saw in storefront windows. The trolley stopped at the next corner right in the middle of the district. The large group exited the trolley. Zeon spoke with the driver arranging for him to meet them in an hour outside the armory a few blocks away. Jane’s group would need a ride across town to the pig races. The trolley lumbered off as the party began to separate.

“You have fun shopping and remember if you buy me anything, please, nothing too girly. I get enough of that from Ma.” Jane smiled down at her lovely wife. “Stay close to your friends here and try to stay safe for me. Trust me when I say it would not bode well for anyone who hurt you. I don’t know how well I could control myself.”

“I promise to stay safe sweetheart and not to get you anything too girly. And the same goes for you. I want you to be careful and stick with your friends. I am sure the races you are going to will be a lot more dangerous than shopping is going to be.”

“I promise.” They shared another kiss. “I mean it Maura. Please be careful and stay with your guards. If anything happened to you, I don’t know how well I could control my animal instincts. I love you and you are my world.”

“I feel the same sweetheart, again I promise to stay as safe as I can. I want you to do the same. I know you are a big bad ass, but still please take care of yourself and stay close to the others. They know a lot more about this world than we do.”

“I promise and dear did you just say ass?” Jane teased as they pulled apart physically and mentally.

Maura laughed as she blew Jane one last kiss before turning to enter a nearby storefront with her new friends.

Jane was pleased with the way they immediately surrounded her wife, but in such a way that it didn’t hamper her ability to move freely within the store. She watched through the large window for a moment before heading off down the street with her own new friends doing much the same with her. Their life had certainly taken a major turn in the past few weeks.

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Maura loved the shops and found many things that she liked for both herself and Jane. Alexi assured her that there was plenty of room onboard the ship for all of her purchases. They had went through two shops and were headed in the direction the others had gone nearly an hour before. Lauren told her a shoe store, run by the same family that she had bought from at the depot in the human realm, was across from the armory.

Maura saw the Landrekin name and symbol on the sign hanging over the sidewalk in front of the store. A pub was on the other side of the shoe store and a large male creature that looked like a large troll, except with smoother skin, came out and it was obvious that he had already had too much to drink.

“Damn, this isn’t good.” Jaden said as she, Tony, and Ethan stepped in front of Maura. “These guys are normally home in bed by now. He must be of mixed heritage for his skin to be so smooth and to have such resistance to the morning light. He is also larger than most trolls.” She kept her voice low.

The large male creature with mottled green and yellow skin saw them and they watched as the front of his baggy trousers tented. “Beautiful women.” He garbled and rapidly advanced towards them.

Jaden threw her Elven magic at him to slow him down. It was difficult because most trolls were impervious to magic of any kind. Brute strength and force of will was about the only thing that worked. Unless, you wanted to kill them, then taking their heads worked as well. However, they couldn’t kill this guy, but they did have to take him down before he hurt any of them, especially Maura, or anyone else on the streets.

Ethan threw his magic in with hers and they slowed him, but didn’t stop him. The remaining Lycans of the group threw their force of wills against him, even Maura. It stopped the male from advancing on them, however he was getting more enraged by the moment and in his inebriated state he did not heed the warnings of those around him to stop. Two males in uniforms ran down the street to assist. They had large clubs in their hands. It was obvious that they were going to attempt to knock the large creature unconscious while they had him distracted. Unfortunately, it did not work. His large arm swung around sending both constables flying.

The troll was even further enraged and their hold on him was slipping. “I want the little woman in the middle. She is pretty. I want to love her.” He slurred pointing at Maura as he was able to take one slow hard step forward.

Maura soon found Max, Nina, Grady, and Warren had joined the party surrounding her. Marcus, Zeon, Nolan, and Silas ran towards the large male, their wills and magic before them. Though they kept him from further advancing they did not keep him from using his amazing strength and rage against them. They too were soon sent flying. The troll never saw the astonishingly quick and supremely ticked dark haired woman approach him from behind.

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Jane stepped through the reinforced doors of the armory. The scents of metal, oil, wood, and leather filled her nostrils. She liked the smells together. The place was large. They browsed through many areas looking at all kinds of weapons and armor for all kinds of beings. She found the place fascinating. They soon came upon the area that held the crossbows, arbalists, and gastraphetes. The two latter ones were much larger and cumbersome for what she was interested in. She finally found a crossbow she liked that had a handle similar to an ancient firearm with intricate scrollwork on it. The dark haired woman was allowed to try the weapon out in the small test area at the back of the building. Jane took to it naturally and was a fine shot just as she was with her service weapon. The feel of the crossbow felt good in her hands. With the help of Silas, who was an expert with crossbows and the like, they haggled with the clerk for an agreeable price. The weapon along with a large box of target bolts and one of quality hunting bolts were purchased with arrangements were made to deliver them to the Raven’s Lady.

Before leaving Jane’s eye was caught by the throwing knives. She tried several of them out finding she preferred a set of thin, light weight, and extremely sharp black ones. The dark haired woman also liked a set of small black throwing torpedoes or spikes. The clerk saw the Elven knives she already carried and said he had some high quality sheaths that would fit on her belt, as well as in her boot, that had an additional pouch made into them to hold the throwing knives and the spikes. After all of her warrior friends in her party inspected them, Jane traded up for the better sheaths. While waiting her eye was caught by a beautiful set of throwing knives that were made of a material that shimmered with the colors of the rainbow, much like oil when upon water in the bright sun.  The swirling effect on the knives was magnificent. Her gaze focused on a set that held a bit more green than the others. “May I see those?” She asked another clerk that was nearby.

Jane liked the light weight feel of them and they were smaller than the ones she had already purchased and the dark haired woman thought they would be a perfect fit for her wife’s smaller hand. Maura would also like the coloring.

“Those have incredibly sharp edges. You could perform surgery with them. The material they are made of is often used for surgical instruments.” The clerk said.

That sold it for Jane. Maura might not ever use them to harm anyone, yet she could use them in healing if she needed too. “Do you have a sheath in white leather like the ones I am purchasing in black?”

The clerk left and came back with several white ones similar. Jane liked the one with the vine like designs carved into it. Glancing over she saw one that had the scrolling work in it dyed black. Picking up the one she liked. “Can you dye the scroll work in this one green like the ones there that are dyed black?”

“Yes, ma’am. It will take about an hour to do and another hour for it to dry properly in our drying tanks.”

The woman nodded. “Good, I want two of the white sheaths with vine work on them. One of the sheaths will be for wearing on the belt, the other most likely on or in a boot.” She picked out two matching daggers to go with them. “Add them to my delivery to the Raven’s Lady.”

The clerk eagerly complied placing the blades in the box being packed with her crossbow and bolts. He took the two sheaths back to the workroom and spoke with an Elf there who soon began the delicate task of dyeing the vine scrolling deep emerald.

The first clerk returned with her black sheaths and the woman took little time removing her old ones and replacing them with the new ones sliding her Elven blades, throwing knives, and spikes into their allotted places. Jane experimentally drew the knives and spikes a few times liking how easily it was done. After going over the arrangements of her order and delivery one more time, the clerk was paid and the group was soon on their way.

“Shit!” Warren exclaimed as he exited the building and was the first to see what was happening across the street.

Jane stepped out in time to see the constables go flying. “Warren, Nina, Max, Grady go to Maura, keep her safe. Marcus, Zeon, Nolan, Silas try to subdue the big guy if you can, but at least distract him. Go!” The Laird put force into her orders and they were instantly carried out.

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Maura watched with the others as her dark warrior came up behind the lumbering giant of a troll, grabbing his arm nearest the side of the stone building, and spinning him into it while bringing the arm around and bending it up behind his back, holding him in place. They watched as she exerted more strength against him as the troll tried to push off the wall. They all felt it as Jane used her force of will to help subdue the creature.

“You have no idea how close you came to death. If you had been able to get to my wife like you were trying to do, I would have already taken your head.”

Her will and words were slowly pushing the drunkenness from the trolls mind. He realized he was in serious danger and had done something very stupid. “Sorry, didn’t mean nothin by it. I only wanted to kiss the pretty lady before I went home.”

“No one kisses that pretty lady but me, and you should never try to kiss a lady without her permission no matter who she is. Understand?” The dark haired warrior did nothing to hide the menace in her voice. She was pissed.

“Yes.” He wheezed as he was pressed harder into the wall.

For the first time, Jane used her ability to dive into others minds. She found that the constables wanted to take him to the drunk tank to sober up and that the troll was now coherent enough to go with them agreeably. “Will you go with the constables without trouble? You will spend a day in the drunk tank to sober up and hopefully smarten up, as well.”

He sighed. “I will.”

The dark warrior brought his other beefy arm behind him and held it while one of the constables latched huge cuffs and chains to his wrists. Jane slowly eased up cautious of any wrong movement the large fellow might make. The constables thanked them all for their help as an actual paddy wagon arrived pulled by a pair of giant lizards of some sort. The wagon groaned as the troll climbed in, but with the strong reptiles pulling it, the wagon was soon underway.

Jane was breathing deep calming her inner self back down. She had not been kidding when she told the troll she would have killed him if he would have harmed her mate. The warrior turned as a comforting hand touched her arm sending soothing warmth, calming her greatly. Smiling the powerful Alpha turned to her mate. “I thought you told me that shopping wasn’t that dangerous.” Pulling the smaller woman into her, Jane took comfort in holding Maura as the last of her ire settled.

“Technically that wasn’t shopping, that was walking down the sidewalk.” Maura teased as she soothed her warrior woman.

Chuckling Jane kissed her hard and deep. “I love you sweetheart and thank you for calming me. You have the magic touch where I’m concerned.”

“I am glad to hear it and so you know you are getting lucky tonight. These shows of power and strength you have been doing lately are really huge turn-ons for me. I’m going to buy some sexy lingerie that will knock your socks off. ”

“God, you have me turned on already babe. I look forward to you modeling for me later.”

The couple pulled from the kiss and embrace seeing that their friends had their backs to them creating a barrier that gave them a little privacy.

“Thanks everyone for everything. I think we are all good to go now, and Maura the next time you run into a drunk giant troll, run the other way. You are much faster than they are.” Everyone laughed together.

The trolley pulled up alongside them at that moment. “Your ride is here sweetheart and the shoes in this store are calling my name. You have fun at the races and we will see you all in a few hours at the pub for a meal before we head back to the ship.” She hugged and kissed her wife giving her a quick pat on the ass before quickly disappearing into the shoe store with her guard.

Jane chuckled as she watched her woman disappear behind the shop doors. The woman always kept Jane on her toes and surprised her and alpha liked it, a lot. Turning Jane smiled at her friends. “Well let’s get going before anymore large green monsters show up. I have never seen a pig race before, though I have seen videos on YouTube.”

Her comment got a laugh from those who knew what YouTube was and sparked jovial conversations as her comment was explained to the others. The group quickly loaded up and was shortly on their way.

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So what do you think? I hope you liked. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 21

Maura and her new friends had been shopping for a while. She may have purchased too much, but she had seen entirely too many things she loved. Also the fact that she now had every right to buy things for her wife was thrilling. The doctor had stuck with things that would suit her mate’s taste, but of a quality and cut that the detective usually didn’t own. Maura was determined that Jane’s wardrobe would always be of high quality and excellent fit. The fact that her warrior woman had grown at least six inches in height and had filled out dramatically from head to toe with gloriously sexy muscles aided the healers cause. All of the dark haired woman’s old clothes would no longer fit her and could be gotten rid of.

Everything that had been purchased was sent directly to the ship. There was only a little more than an hour before they were to meet at the pub with the rest of their group.

“Evie time is growing short and I would like to stop by a reputable shop for that item I spoke with you about earlier.”

“Ah, yes. I spoke with Jaden, who knows a lot more about that subject than I do and she knows right where to take you to get the best since price isn’t a factor.”

“No it’s not. I want the best like before. I was disappointed we couldn’t bring it with us.”

“Jaden says what can be purchased here is giant leaps and bounds better than anything you could get in the human realm.”

“Excellent, let’s get going then. I don’t want to be rushed.”

Evie laughed. Maura was different than anyone she had ever met before, but she truly liked the unique woman. She had a rare view of the world around her. “Jaden take us to that shop we discussed earlier. Maura wants plenty of time to examine the merchandise.”

Jaden chuckled and led the way. They came to a shop with delicate ivory curtains in the windows. The sign hanging out front said Claudia’s Intimate Treasures. Alexi instructed Ethan and Hector to stand guard outside knowing they might make Maura uncomfortable while shopping in the store. Apparently Tony had been with her when she had visited at a similar place in the human realm.

Maura took a few moments to peruse the intimate apparel, but didn’t find anything that she liked more than what she had already purchased.

The shopkeeper and owner Claudia greeted Jaden warmly. “Well hello there gorgeous. It has been a while since I’ve seen you in here. You got a new girl you’re buying for?”

“No Claudia. I have a new friend visiting Undrehiel for the first time and would like to look at the absolute best you have in your Stallion collection. Money is no object, however quality is, and I know you create the best.”

Claudia’s smile grew. “Now that makes my afternoon. Well introduce me to your friend so I can show her my latest and greatest.”

Jaden did and she and the others gave Maura room to inspect and speak freely with the shopkeeper.

The two got on well and Claudia liked the straight talking woman. “Is this for you to wear, honey?”

“Usually, no, though I might occasionally, but mostly it is for my mate. She will be the one to wear it most of the time.”

The shopkeeper nodded. “Is she a small woman or large?”

“Well she is about five or six inches past six feet and muscular. She is fit, but not overly large. Very strong in all aspects.”

“Ah, sounds like you’re a lucky woman and I know just what to show you. It is the absolute best I have and I think it will suit your mate just fine.” The woman escorted Maura to a small table behind the counter. The women sat across from one another as Claudia showed Maura her latest creation designed exclusively to be worn by a woman. She also showed the young beauty a few other items she might like.

Maura was very excited about what she was hearing and after learning how everything worked on it and inspecting the quality she picked the top of the line. The doctor also picked up a few other things she thought they might like to try at some point.

Maura was making arrangements for delivery, adding specific instructions for the purchase to go directly to her cabin and not into storage as she had with a few of the other things she had bought. The bells chimed over the door as a brunette with flouncy shoulder length hair and large breasts bounced into the shop.

She greeted Lauren. “Hey, Laur. I saw your boyfriend a couple of hours ago heading into the pig races with some other security types. I also saw the woman of my dreams. You gotta tell me she is single and introduce us.”

Lauren laughed at her dramatically bubbly friend. “If she is single, I will introduce you. There were only three women in their party and I think two of the three are free.”

“Well this one was dressed similar to you guys, but she wore black and purple instead. She had this totally Alpha presence that really got my motor running. The woman has this total butch femme thing going on that rocks.” The woman fanned herself. “Oh please, tell me she is single.”

Lauren smiled shaking her head. “Afraid not my friend. That woman is one of the most well mated people I’ve ever met and her lovely wife is behind you at the counter finishing up arrangements for her purchases.”

The brunette’s head whipped around. “Damn, she’s fine, but a little to femme for my tastes. So they are very tightly mated, huh?”

Maura turned around at that. “VERY tightly mated.” She smiled at the other woman.

The brunette wasn’t stupid, she had a feeling that if she ever attempted to touch the other woman’s mate she would soon have her hands removed. “Understood. You are a lucky lady though. I gotta tell you that.”

“Yes, I am.” Maura smiled once more before thanking Claudia again and heading out of the shop.

“Good thing you didn’t pursue that any further. She might look all feminine, but that woman would have made mincemeat out of you.” Lauren said before following the others out.

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There was a long line of trolleys and wagons dropping off race fans. Jane had no idea watching pigs run around in a circle could be exciting enough to draw such crowds. “You say this is a regular event?” The ones she had seen on the internet were annual events usually at local and state fairs.

“Yes, the races are held once or twice a week from spring to fall. Winter is the only off season.” Grady was easily the biggest fan of the group.

Marcus leaned out of the trolley car as he surveyed the area. “I think we are close enough that it would be faster if we walked.”

“I agree.” Zeon sat on Jane’s other side.

They all exited the trolley. Zeon once again arranging for it to pick them all up afterwards. Nolan ran ahead to get the tickets that had been purchased earlier in the day.

The atmosphere in the large area outside the arena was almost like a street fair. Food, games, and souvenirs were among the many vendors trying to separate spectators from their coins.

Jane marveled at the variety of creatures around her. It was not a family atmosphere at all. As they entered the doors after having their tickets stamped and each receiving a map and schedule of races, Jane saw even more vendors, as well as, booths set-up to place bets on the races.

Scantily clad creatures were dancing around among the throng holding signs advertising certain bars and pubs inside the arena or the best places to place your bets. So far it wasn’t exactly what she had expected.

Jane saw a tote board giving odds on the first few races and was surprised again by some of the names of the pigs. Razor Tooth, Kill Streak, and Bloody Bacon to name a few.

“Our section is this way!” Grady sounded excited and many others in the group seemed more eager since they arrived.

“Lead on.” The dark haired woman smiled.

They had a small box with ten seats all to themselves, but they were still in the middle of the crowd. Small boxes like theirs were scattered around the stadium. They had a good view of the dirt track below. No seating was at ground level. A thick reinforced stone wall surrounded the track, all seating was above the wall. Their box was close to the ledge the wall created.

Four gated stalls were in the far corner of the track. It seemed like the pigs would run out of the large stationary shoots onto a straight section of track, the shoots would then be blocked off after the race began to form the completed roundness of the track.

Upon seeing the size of the stalls Jane knew the little pigs she had seen online were not what she would soon be seeing.

A small podium rose from the center of the stadium as a plump purple manlike creature wearing a red top coat with tails and a black top hat, reminding her of a circus ringleader, welcomed everyone to the arena, before announcing the first race. A loud horn rang out indicating the end of betting for the first race. A momentary hush came over the crowd as they waited for the solid gates to open.

The crowd roared when the gates went flying. Giant Razorback hogs the size of a rhino with very powerful and scary builds shot out of the gates like their tales were on fire. Riders were actually saddled on the dangerous looking creatures that had huge tusks sticking out of either side of their mouths and two more tusks looked to be coming out of their snouts high up, not far below their eyes. All four animals had scarring on their hides and the riders were heavily armored.

“You jerks. You totally misled me on purpose.” She was smirking after she popped Marcus on the shoulder causing him to flinch.

Her friends laughed. “We wanted to see your face when you saw the pigs for the first time.” Warren grinned at her.

The races were sometimes brutal and the dark haired woman was glad her wife had not came with them. The hawkers came around and Jane was talked into trying some kind of smoked meat on a stick and a thick ale she thought she was going to have to chew.

“I’m really glad Maura didn’t come with us.” The Laird stated after one particularly violent race where medics had to run out on the track and get a couple riders to safety while other crazy beings distracted the giant hogs. “Maura would like these races about as much as I like going to the opera.”

“I take it you are not an Opera fan.” Nina’s eyes danced with merriment.

“I can handle going to the theatre, the symphony, and even the ballet. However, I would rather get a full Brazilian wax job in the middle of Times Square, than go to the opera.”

Several of her friends chocked on their ale and a few spewed it. Jane supposed she didn’t say outrageous things often enough if she garnered that kind of reaction.

“You must really hate them.” Max laughed while dabbing ale off her arm which Nolan had spewed on her from behind. “I mean Ouch!” Her legs unconsciously crossed.

It was a rowdy afternoon, but no one had over two ales. The atmosphere was quite charged and several fights broke out over bets, winners, losers, and lovers. The crowd was almost as interesting to watch as the races.

They were working their way to the exit when Jane felt the call. The sensation ran through her mind. Somewhere close by a child was very scared and in danger. Not just any child, but one of Lycan descent. The Alpha stopped dead in her tracks trying to pin point the location, then a second child joined the first and they were both in severe danger.

The dark warrior turned back towards the arena. “Come on we have a couple of children to find.” Without waiting she sprinted off towards the railing at the top of the arena wall and barreled over it. The others hot on her trail.

Jane jumped over the gates of the hog chutes and entered the underbelly of the arena. Large burly creatures with three eyes and hairy ears were corralling up each of the hogs into their own individual pens. Jane heard the cries of a girl to her right and headed in that direction.

They saw a little girl of about five in a worn sack dress and a boy, maybe 10 wearing a worn shirt and trousers, huddled together waiting to be mauled to death by a huge hog. Two of the three eyed creatures were pulling on the enraged and injured animal. Its only focus was to get at its prey.

The Laird ran faster than she thought she ever had, scooping the children up moments before the hog charged smashing head long into the wall. She placed the children around a corner, hopefully out of harm’s way as she and her friends helped corral the dangerous animal into its pen.

“What now?” Jane thought as she felt distress coming from the children again. The woman made it around the corner in time to see a large neatly dressed man push the little girl into the wall and smack the boy hard across the face. One beefy hand holding tightly to his small arm.

“I told you not to feed them till they were all penned.  I don’t have to let you use one of the storerooms above the pens to live in. I can easily throw you back out on the street and find me some more little beggars to feed the hogs and clean out the pens between race days. You don’t know what it’s like out there. I took you on straight after you were kicked out of your little house after your whore of a mother died.” He said cruelly.

“Our mother wasn’t a whore! She was a seamstress!” The little girl cried.

Before the man could kick the girl he found himself ripped away from the children and smashed into a wall. A large strong clawed hand held him pinned there by his throat. He found himself looking into the glowing eyes of a very pissed off Alpha Lycan.

“Do you want to live?” Growled the woman.

“Y...Yes.” The Alpha had to be powerful to so easily partially shift.

“The children are no longer yours. They are part of my pack. However, you piece of scum will only find other children to harm. I curse you. Any harm you attempt to cause a child will cause you to feel as though your entire body has been dropped into a lava pit. Mental or physical abuse of children by you or ordered by you will cause this. I suggest asshole, you learn to become a better man or stay away from children all together.” Jane tossed the man down the hall where he landed with a thud. She read from his mind he had no legal hold on the children.

Jane took a moment to calm herself and let her hands and eyes shift back to normal, before approaching the children.

As she neared them she sent her will out soothing the young ones and surrounding them in the warmth of safety.

The boy and girl stood together each had old and new bruises and the boy had a split lip. Jane laid a hand on each child’s soft cheek before sending healing energy throughout their bodies. She didn’t have a gift anywhere near as strong as Maura’s, but healing the aches and bruises of the children and one split lip the Laird could easily do.

“My name is Jane. What are yours?”

“I’m Jeremy and this is my sister Emily.” The boy had light brown hair and his sister blonde, but they both had the same sky blue eyes. They were in need of a good scrubbing, but even with all the dirt she could tell they were cute kids.

“Well Jeremy and Emily how would you like to go to Hecation. It will take us about a week or so to get there. Once we do I am sure we can find you a much better home with much better people who will care for you as if you were their own. What do you say? Are you two up for a little adventure?” She smiled at the two still surrounding the children in the warmth of safety.

They both nodded. “We don’t want to be here anymore.” The little girl spoke.

“I don’t blame you.” Jane stood. “Now why don’t you show my friends Max, Grady, and Warren here where your things are? They can help you pack and we can be on our way.”

Again they nodded and led the way up a set of old wooden stairs leading to the storage rooms above the pens. She watched till they disappeared from sight. “Nina do you personally know of any families who would take them in. I don’t want them used as labor again. They need a home, a loving caring one.”

“I know of at least five Hecation families off the top of my head, but I think Cornelius and Jarvis would be the best for them. They are lifemates, one man’s Fae, the other man Elf. They currently have no small children. The couple has taken in orphans and runaways offering them a loving family for over a hundred years. All their kids are grown now. I know they would love those two and could give them the attention they need right now.”

“Sounds good. When we get back to the ship, if you have a way to contact them do so and see if they are willing before we speak to the children about it.”

“Yes, ma’am. I will.”

Jane looked up to see the children already coming down the stairs. Each had a small shabby rucksack on their backs. The girl had a tattered teddy bear with a missing eye and ear under her arm. Grady, Max, and Warren each carried a large wooden box. It was obvious they had not been opened in a while.

“Is that everything?”

The children nodded. “We only have a few things for ourselves in our packs. That stuff is all we were allowed to keep from our home and of our mom’s.” Jeremy pointed to the boxes.

“We will take good care of them then.”

Jane had seen Zeon fiddling with a small mirror with all kinds of symbols engraved on the frame around it. He looked up after sliding it into his pocket. “The Captain will meet us at the marina to escort our new friends on board and get them settled.”

The dark haired woman nodded. “Okay, let’s get out of here.”

They were soon at the corner waiting for the trolley. The group was standing in front of a variety store that seemed to hold anything from clothes, toys, to household goods. The children had each taken one of her hands upon leaving the arena. Jane looked to see what had so captured the girl’s attention. The little girl had turned completely around looking in the shop window. It was a pretty little blonde doll with blue eyes.

“She looks sorta like you.”

The girl nodded.

“Do you like her?”

More nodding.

“Silas, Nolan, Grady watch the boxes and bags, please. The rest of us are going to do a little shopping.” Jane headed into the large store.

A couple of clerks rushed over to help them. Jane told them she wanted three sets of clothes for each child, something for them to sleep in, and at least five pairs of socks and underthings for each, as well as, a warm coat and good shoes. She also told them to add two toothbrushes with cleaner suitable for children, brushes, and combs and two back packs.”

Jeremy went with Warren and Marcus as the clerk helped him quickly pick out what he liked in the correct sizes. Jane, Nina, and Max went with the little girl as another clerk assisted them to do the same. The clerk added some special kid friendly shampoo and conditioner and some hair ribbons to the list and Jane tossed a couple of robes and house shoes into the basket as she passed by them. She picked pink with bears for the Emily and solid dark blue with red pockets and sash for Jeremy. The slippers matched the robes.

While the clerks were bagging everything up. The dark haired woman took the kids over to the toy section where she spotted the dolls. “Is she the one you want?” Jane picked up the same doll as the one in the window.

Emily looked at her with wide eyes. “I can really have her?”

“Yes, if she is the one you like best.”

“Oh! She is!” The little girl grinned.

The woman was about to hand it to her when she noticed the same doll on a higher shelf, but she came with a little pack on her back with little brushes, ribbons, and spare clothes. She exchanged dolls, handing the girl the one with accessories to play with.

Her gaze drifted to Jeremy. “See anything you like?”

He nodded and pointed behind Jane to a different section. It was like a miniature armory. However, the dangerous items were locked away. Jeremy walked up to a barrel full of wooden practice swords, most likely set so close to the toy section for that very reason. The boy pulled out a sword very similar to the one on Jane’s hip except without the wolf and magic stuff going on.

The woman smiled nodding and found him a scabbard and belt for him to wear with it. She also tossed in a small wooden dagger and sheath to go with it.

The warrior also picked up a couple of coloring books, game books, and drawing pads along with an art set that held crayons, pencils, and colorful chalks. Surprisingly they were in the shop a very short amount of time. Jane and her party didn’t browse like Maura and hers usually did unless weapons were involved. When they arrived at the trolley Jeremy strapped his new wooden weapons to his skinny waist and Emily introduced her bear to her new doll as she hugged them close.

The Captain along with a few of the crew were waiting for them by the steps up to the marina. The children’s eyes were very heavy lidded.

The Captain had three Fae women with him. Cookie was a plumb cheerful older gal with lots of curly red hair. The two younger woman were her daughters Maddy and Millie. They gushed over the children and promised to get them cleaned up and fed before tucking them into a nice warm bed.

Jane told the woman about the new things and promised the children she would look in on them when she returned.

Cookie scooped up little Emily, who snuggled her head onto one soft shoulder falling almost instantly asleep. Jeremy leaned heavily against Maddy almost asleep as well as she led him up to the ship.

“We will take good care of them for you.” Captain Donovan said as the other crew members gathered up the children’s belongings.

“I know you will.” Jane looked at her escort. “We better get going or we’re going to be late.”

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Jane and her party arrived about ten minutes before the set meeting time. They all scattered around a lounge area by a large fireplace while Nolan went to set-up seating for their large party. He was an old friend of the owner and manager of the place.

Jane sat in the corner of a deep sofa with Max beside her and Marcus on the other end. Nina was directly across from her on another sofa with Warren and Zeon next to her. Grady, and Sirus sat in chairs around the lounge.

“I wonder how long it’ll be before the others get here?” Warren said as he looked around.

Jane shrugged as she took in the mix of being around them. “I don’t know.”

“We didn’t get a chance to talk about it after with everything going on, but how did you like the races?” Max inquired.

The dark haired woman shifted to speak more directly. “I can honestly say I have never been to anything like it.”

That got them all laughing and sharing tales about their first times at the races.

Caught up in the conversation Jane didn’t see when Maura and her friends entered the Pub from a different entrance than Jane’s group had and started weaving her way across the boisterous crowd toward them.

“Max, baby! Who’s the new hunk? She working for Wolfe Sec. too?”

That was all Jane heard before a very well-endowed woman plopped down in her lap thrusting her large endowments towards her face. She felt her marks flaring bright gold in disinterest, but with the cut of her shirt none were really visible.

“Hi, I’m Mandy. I absolutely love tough guys and you have the definite bad ass vibe rockin’ around you, baby.”

Jane’s hands were up trying to fend off the woman who she thought might have been part octopus, her hands were everywhere. “I’m supremely not interested and would appreciate you getting off my lap.” The dark haired warrior didn’t want to hurt the woman, but she was seconds away from tossing her on her slutty ass.

“You better listen quick Mandy. Get off of her now!” Max warned her. The sight of a very ticked off Maura baring down on them was scary. The woman looked like a vengeful angel. “She has a mate and isn’t interested. Hurry, get-up!” She was pushing at the woman.

“Oh come on handsome. I can make you forget that mate of yours and give you the ride of your life.”

“I’m not interested. Now get off me and keep all these hands to yourself before I dump you on your nasty ass.” Authority rang in her voice, however the woman seemed to like it.

“Oh yes, I love the whole dominate thing. I could play submissive for you, sir.”

Thoroughly creeped out Jane was in the process of tossing the woman to the floor, no longer caring if the woman got a few bruises, when the need to do so was taken out of her hands.

Mandy was plucked from Jane’s lap by her hair and flung to the opposite sofa that was now vacant as the others had scrambled up to assist before they saw Maura approach.

Maura moved with lightning speed pressing the woman in the corner of the sofa with her anger alone. “Listen to me bitch. If you so much as think about looking at my mate again I will pluck your eyes out. She told you at least twice she wasn’t interested, even Max warned you she had a mate. I warn you to stay away from mated beings before you run into someone not as nice as I. Now disappear. I don’t want you here.”

The angry beauty stood waiting for the skanky woman to do the same and leave. Maura kept her body between the handsy slut and her mate.

Mandy stood keeping her eyes down and posture submissive, she felt the danger her rampant hormones had gotten her into. “I was supposed to take your drink orders.”

“Then find someone else to do it, but you aren’t coming anywhere near our party the rest of the night.”

“Yes, ma’am.” The busty woman hightailed it away as fast as she could swearing to herself to not listen to her hormones so much.

Maura’s gaze swung to her mate’s as she stepped close. “They simply flock to you don’t they?”

A dark brow shot up. “They? That was only one and I swear I didn’t even know she was near. She spoke to Max and the next thing I know octopus woman is in my lap. I swear she had more than two hands.” She shivered. “You wouldn’t happen to have any disinfectant spray on you, would you? I feel the distinct need to be doused in it.”

Maura laughed along with the others. “Yes, they! My poor baby. That is the second woman today that I know of who wanted you. The first one came into a shop I was in and begged Lauren to introduce her to the woman of her dreams, that woman being you.”

“I haven’t been looking or paying attention to any woman, but you. Your my one and only love for life.”

The smaller woman plopped herself down into the dark beauties lap. “I know sweetheart, but you are just so hot that some women and men too will just lose their heads over you. But don’t worry, I will protect you.”

“Same goes for you, babe.” Jane found herself being deeply kissed by her wife and not caring one iota about those around them. “You are very hot when you go all Alpha mate on someone. I can’t wait to get you alone later.” The dark haired woman mentally purred.

“I can’t wait either. I bought something I think you will very much enjoy.”

They broke apart panting.

Max laughed. “I guess the lady staked her claim good and proper.”

Jane smiled. “No complaints here.” She pulled Maura close keeping her right where she was, happy with the current seating arrangement.

It wasn’t long till they were shown to a large table that had been put together in the back of the pub. The meal was a companionable affair with much laughter as they shared the happenings of their day.

“So that’s what pig racing is. I wondered what the draw was. I would like to see what one of the giant hogs looks like, but I don’t think I would enjoy the races much.” Maura commented while they waited for their dessert to arrive.

“I know I was surprised by them. They were very vicious animals. I could hardly believe anyone would ride them.” Jane said as three large Kuchen were put along the table. They were rich cakes with several layers and crème.

They were pre-sliced. Jane took a piece for Maura, then herself. All the while a waiter delivered after dinner beverages. She and Maura had both chosen Keoke coffee which had a kick to it and whipped topping.

Grady wiped cream off of his lip. “They may be vicious, but that didn’t stop you from running in front of an injured and enraged one to save those children. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone move so fast before.”

The hand on Jane’s leg tightened. “I was called to help children like when Bethany was hurt. The children are at least part Lycan, because I recognized them as pack. I couldn’t let that hog kill them or leave them in that awful place.”

That sparked a whole other conversation as the rest of her party filled in what all had happened after the races.

“You are such a sweetheart. You bought that little girl a doll and the boy a wooden sword. You made sure they had everything they needed, but without going overboard. Those children will always remember the strong caring Alpha that saved them. That woman earlier today had no idea how right she was when she said I was one lucky lady to have you as my mate.”

“I think I’m the lucky one.” They shared a quick kiss.

It wasn’t long before they were on their way back to the ship.

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Upon arrival to the Raven’s Lady, the Royal couple’s first stop was a small chamber nearby Cookie and her daughters’ berths. The two now clean children were cuddled up together sleeping in their new pajamas. Emily had both her new doll and her old tattered bear with her and Jeremy had his sword nearby and they could see the hilt of his wooden dagger sticking out from under his pillow.

Jane straightened the covers around the two before joining her mate and Cookie in the walkway. She slid the door shut behind her.

“It’s a good thing you did there Laird. They told me how you healed them of all their injuries that awful man gave them. The kids also said it was the first time they had been injury free since their momma died, bless their souls. I’ve been hearing tales about how dangerous you are, but you have a good heart inside you. It will serve you well.” Cookie didn’t seem to be too intimidated by Jane’s position.

“Thank you, Cookie. I appreciate you and your daughters taking care of them. What have you done with all of their old things?”

“The clothes they were wearing weren’t more than rags as are the things in those old rucksacks and they are all filthy. I haven’t decided what to do with them yet.”

“You will wash and neatly fold them. Also clean up the old rucksacks. Those things belong to those children and though old and worn they may mean something to them. We throw nothing away of theirs without their say so. Those two have had enough taken from them in their young lives. We will try not to take anything more except for maybe their fear and insecurity.”

The large woman smiled. “Yes, Laird. I will see it is done. Do you need anything more?”

“No, thank you Cookie. It has been a very long day for us. We are going to enjoy some peace and quiet for the rest of the evening. Goodnight.”

Maura smiled at the woman. “Goodnight, Cookie.” She took her mates hand as they made their way towards their cabin.

The Captain met them as they reached the quarterdeck. “We will be departing soon. I plan on flying through the night and all of tomorrow. It would be an excellent time for you two to catch up on your rest and to finish adjusting to the time shift. I have already informed Marcus so he can tell the others who came in realm with you.”

“Thank you Captain, that sounds like a fine idea.” The Laird nodded. “Goodnight.”

Her lady did the same as they were finally able to disappear behind closed doors and simply be alone.

Their wish was granted for the amount of time it took them to cross their receiving room and enter their private sitting room.

Lady Vivienne was sitting in one of the chairs with a book. The Goddess smiled at them as they entered. “You ladies have had a busy day. You started the day in the human realm, traveled through the in-between, met with Council members upon arrival in a new realm, explored the city of Vardinia, fought a troll, enjoyed much shopping, saved children, and rescued ones mate from unwanted amorous attentions. A very busy day indeed.” Her trilling laughter filled the room.

“Please sit. There is something we neglected to speak with you about and I thought I should be the one to talk with you alone on this subject. I believe having Fenrir present would only make you uncomfortable.”

The couple sat together on the sofa. “What is this about?” Jane asked bluntly.

“I am here to discuss babies. That is your abilities to get pregnant and the precautions to take to prevent pregnancy until you are both ready.”

“But my lady, we are both women. We can’t accidentally get pregnant.” Maura was certain of that, well as long as they didn’t bring a man into their lives, which she knew they never would.

“If you were human, I would agree. However, you are Lycan females, a mated pair. Your genetic make-up is now different. Magic you will learn makes many things possible.” The Goddess shifted forward in her seat. “First you should know that as a couple you can have children, but that individually you cannot. Any child conceived is entirely reliant upon the two of you together. No mated pair can conceive outside of their pairing.” She held up her hand for quiet and patience when she saw both women about to speak.

“Lycans generally go into heat approximately every 4-6 months. However, you two will only go into heat once a year and it will always be cycled together. Lycans can only conceive during a heat phase. The two of you will be coming into your first heat phase shortly after you arrive at your home in Hecation. Then it will happen every twelve months. If precautions are not taken Maura will get with child at every heat phase, something I would not recommend. I think it would be wise for you to wait a few years until you have settled into your roles and the upheavals to come have calmed before you even think about children. It would be even more dangerous at the moment. You are both untrained and will be targets yourselves soon and your children would be more vulnerable now when you are both still unknown and untried in the new world you now live.”

“How come only I will get pregnant and not Jane?” Maura snuggled closer to her wife.

“In a mated female pair, one woman’s eggs change in such a way that they can only be receptive to the DNA of the woman’s mate. The other woman’s eggs change into a substance that is only present during heat and this substance will enter the other woman’s body to join with the egg or eggs and create a child or children. Maura you are the carrier of the children of your pairing and Jane is the protector of you and your children. The children you carry will be wholly yours and Jane’s. No outside help will ever be needed.”

“How?” Was all Jane could say. She had never imagined being able to knock her wife up the old fashioned way.

“Do you both remember when you first claimed one another and it felt like your womanhood’s had somehow locked together at the time of completion?”

Both women nodded, it had been incredibly intense.

“Well in a way that is exactly what they did, lock together. You two have already managed to lock yourselves together several times since then, however only during heat will Jane’s completing inside of her mate result in the two of you creating a child.”

“You mean when we lock together like that she is actually finishing inside me?” Maura was having no problem speaking freely with the Goddess.

“Yes. To prevent pregnancy there is a spell an earth witch with talent in midwifery can perform to prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, I can easily perform the spell and guarantee 100% effectiveness until it is taken from each of you. The spell is put on you both and must be removed from both mates for future pregnancies to occur.”

Jane sat stunned, she had been coming inside Maura and could get her pregnant with their child, no donor sperm or expensive science needed. She thought it was totally awesome, but agreed with Lady Vivienne it was not time to have children, at least not yet. They had many centuries ahead of them, plenty of time to have kids. She turned to her wife. “I think we should have the spell performed and wait to have children, but I will abide by any decision you make sweetheart. I will always love any kids we create.”

Maura kissed her incredible woman. “I too think we should wait, but I do look forward to someday carrying our child.” They kissed again, not caring that the Goddess looked on.

They parted, both turning to the Goddess. “What do we need to do to receive the spell?” Maura inquired.

The Goddess stood waving them both to do the same. She then stepped up to the couple placing each of her hands over their wombs. Both woman felt warmth and magic flood their wombs. When the sensation ended Lady Vivienne stepped away.

“It is done. You may now enjoy your heat phase to the fullest without worry of pregnancy. You will simply have to call out to me with your request when you want me to remove the spell and I will do so. Now enjoy the next few weeks, because your very intense study and training begins soon and down time will not be as prevalent.”

She hugged Jane. “You are doing a wonderful job as King, my dear. Follow your instincts and don’t doubt yourself.” The Goddess privately sent before turning to also hug Maura.

“Maura you are doing marvelously, continue on as you are and you will do fine. Also that device you picked up earlier will work the same way during a heat phase as locking together. Thought I would give you something to think about for the future. Enjoy seducing your mate, dear.”

The ethereal woman smiled at them both before vanishing in a shimmer of sparkles.

Jane smiled at her mate. “Our children will be truly ours that is so cool!”

“You’re not upset that you can’t carry them?”

“No, honestly the thought of being pregnant has always frightened me. I have never had the urge or desire to actually be pregnant. Are you upset because you have to be the one of us to carry our children?”

“No sweetheart. I think it will be an interesting experience to feel a child growing inside me. It’s a dream come true that the child will be completely ours.” Maura pulled back. “Come let’s go take a bath together and unwind before I seduce you with what I bought today.” The smaller woman led her more than willing wife to their bedchamber and the large tub within.

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I know I left you hanging before we got to the good stuff! LOL That just means the next chapter will start out with a Bang! ;-D  This chapter simply became long quicker than I originally thought. I appreciate you reading and please let me know what you think. Thanks again for reading Winds of Change, the next chapter is not far away. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 22

It felt very nice laying in the warm scented water with her back against her mate’s wonderfully naked chest, however Maura was eager to get her sexy wife into the beautifully large bed in their chamber. She turned pressing breast to breast. “This feels wonderful, but I’m ready to show you a few things I purchased today.”

Leaning up Jane caught luscious lips with her own enjoying the way her woman melted into her as the kiss grew and they feasted for long moments. “If you are going to be modeling sexy lacy things for me, I am your eager audience.”

“You can count on that sweetheart, but I also have something I would like my powerful warrior to wear. Trust me you will enjoy it.”

Maura rubbed her wet body against her love. Growling the warrior planted her feet standing up in the roomy tub, never breaking the kiss until they were both standing dripping on the rug. Jane broke the kiss quickly grabbing a towel from the warming rod drying her wife and herself.

“Maur, I will gladly wear sexy things for you. I like turning you on as much as you enjoy doing the same to me.” Jane smiled down at her beautiful wife. The woman who owned her so completely and the one person she would do anything for.

“Good. Now go start that little fireplace in the bed chamber to take the nip out of the air and I will be right up.” A quick kiss was placed once more on her warrior’s lips before she threw on her robe, and went in search of the items she wanted.

Shaking her head at herself the taller woman complied.

It wasn’t long before Maura, still wrapped tight in her robe joined Jane in the now warmer room. Maura casually placed the last of her outfit out of sight on the floor at the end of the bed before approaching her lover who sat in all her glory on the loveseat near the gas fireplace.

“I bought a very good replacement for one particular item we wanted, but couldn’t bring with us. I think you will really like it.” She brought the strap-on out from behind her back. The harness looked barely there and insubstantial, and the dildo lay soft and fairly small as it hung from it.

Jane wasn’t impressed and the look she gave it showed her thoughts.

“Do you trust me?”

“You know I do.”

“Then let me help you put this on.”

Reluctantly the dark haired woman did. The fit was remarkably tight and comfortable, though the little node that fit tight against her rear opening was new. There were little symbols imprinted into the barely there harness and with a brush of Maura’s finger across one as she whispered something Jane felt the small dildo inside her expand to fit the contours within. The taller woman shivered a little as she felt it come into contact with all of her most sensitive areas inside. It made the fit of the whole thing that much more secure and natural feeling, not to mention how much more intense it would be for her.

Jane had no idea she hadn’t seen anything yet.

“Dear, I know this looks like a relaxed ladykock now, by the way that is exactly what the woman who created it calls it, ladykock with a K instead of a C. It was specifically designed to be worn by a woman and can be worn under your clothes as well if you ever wished to do so. However, this baby can grow up to twelve inches and become as thick as your wrist, although I don’t ever see us taking advantage of that particular feature, but it’s there if we ever do feel that adventurous.” Maura ran her finger across another symbol while whispering. “I have set it for around eight inches and a high average girth.”

“How come it isn’t getting bigger or hard yet?” Jane looked down confused.

“It will when I activate it, but before I do I want you to crawl up onto the middle of that big bed of ours and get comfortable against the pillows, and hold onto the headboard. I want your solemn promise that no matter what, you won’t let go of it until I say you can.” The small vixen looked up at her strong mate letting her love and sexy thoughts show in her eyes and on her face.

With a curious sigh Jane agreed. “I promise, love.”

Maura smiled as she ran her finger over another symbol. “Now climb into bed and get comfortable.”

The Alpha soon relaxed against the pillows, her hands gripping the headboard in the position Maura instructed, a position which caused her breasts to be lifted and thrust out like offerings. Jane was a little confused that the ladykock, as Maura called it, had only grown a little and was only semi-firm.

Walking to the end of the bed to covertly slip on the rest of her outfit Maura addressed the look her lover gave her crotch. “That has three settings. It will go fully on to whatever size it is set for, it can be set to rise and fall with the wearer’s excitement, or it can be set as I have set it. Your ladykock will rise with your excitement love, but once risen it will stay that way until I am done with you.” She stepped out from around the bed now wearing emerald green four inch spiked heels with her matching robe. She stepped in front if the fire giving her lover a nice full view. The fair haired woman smiled as she watched her warrior rising to the occasion. Maura always suspected her love liked seeing her in heels a great deal.

“It appears you like my new shoes sweetheart.” With slow movements the belt of her robe was released allowing the garment to fall open revealing green lace, satin, and silk.

The warrior growled and grew harder, her eyes glued to the vision before her. She became fully erect the moment the robe hit the floor to reveal her woman dressed in French cut lacy panties showing hints of the treasures within, and a lacy demi-bra showing dusky erect nipples beneath as it lifted its bounty making her love’s breasts look like they would spill out for Jane at any moment.

The King’s grip on the headboard increased. “You are the most beautiful creature in all the universe baby. I would love to be touching you right now.” Jane felt her wolf stirring within. Every part of herself wanted to take their magnificent mate.

Slowly Maura walked to the bed putting an extra sensual swing to her hips. “Keep your hands where they are my King. I am going to give you the ride of your life tonight.” The Lady winked as she teased her lover.

Jane growled as Maura began crawling up from the end of the bed Jane’s gaze was held by the sexy woman and the threat of her breasts spilling out of their confines at any moment.

Maura pushed her lover’s legs apart by the ankles as she climbed between them coming to rest upon her knees her hands skimming up strong inner thighs.

“There are a couple of other things I didn’t tell you about this new ladykock of yours.” The honey blonde’s fingers ran across two more symbols. The taller woman felt a slight change in the sensations within her.

“The things magic can help create are truly remarkable, you see when I activated this little symbol.” She tapped it. “The part inside you became receptive to all of your precious honey and wetness that you give up for me. When you come all of your ecstasy will spill from your ladykock here all for me.” Maura grinned as her mate’s eyes went wide at that. “However, the best part of all is that you will feel every touch given to this kock of yours. Your erection is very in-tune with the part that has filled you and converted to fit within you perfectly.” Maura licked her finger and ran it around the head. Jane felt like she was being stroked around the sensitive opening of her moist center. She could hardly believe it. It was incredible. Then she looked into her mate’s sexy eyes and saw the devilish gleam. Remembering her promise, Jane realized she was indeed in for the ride of her life. Lord, she prayed she survived. Her arousal grew even more at the thought and they both saw the dancing drop of wetness form at the tip of her erection. God this was the most surreal experiences of her life.

Jane’s eyes closed and her muscles tightened as Maura’s thumb speared through the wetness. “The fantasies that come to mind as I look at you wearing this are numerous.”

The dark haired woman watched as a small hand dipped into lacy green panties, and her lover rose up on her knees moaning, as Maura ran her own hand through wet folds. When the hand came into view once more it was glistening with wetness. The slick hand wrapped around her lover’s eager ladykock and began stroking.

“Oh My God!” Jane’s grip tightened and her body flexed in pleasure as Maura stroked her. A warm mouth closed over one of the breasts that were now thrust out even further. “You feel so good baby.”

“You can’t come yet sweetheart. Don’t worry you will soon. Actually, you will many times, but first I want to do something I have rarely attempted, because I didn’t like it much, but now I find I am quite eager.”

Muscles twitched as Jane watched and felt, as her wife devoured each of her aching breasts before nibbling her way down a flat muscled stomach before pausing to hover over her kock. And at that moment it did feel like a part of her. Jane’s body bowed as Maura took her into her warm mouth.

“Mm. You taste good, no artificial flavor, simply all you. I was told that the underside here was directly connected to your g-spot. Tell me is that true.” Maura firmed her tongue on the area.

Jane moaned and knew she gave up more wetness and knowing her lover was eagerly sipping it from her only caused more. “Yes!”

Not removing her mouth from her mate, but switching pressure points. “And this area is directly centered on your clit. Is that also true?” Again her tongue swirled.

The warrior was shaking with need. Her muscles taunt. “True.” One word answers were all she was capable of even over their mind link.

“Try and hang on for me. I want to really learn to devour you well before you come in my mouth. This is new and really fun. I want to play.”

Jane knew she wasn’t going to live through it, her wife was going to kill her. “I’ll do my best.” Was all she could say, because her mate was rocking her world and they had only gotten started. They were going to seriously test that whole immortal thing, because the tall woman knew she would have had a stroke by now if she wasn’t almost truly immortal.

Maura was loving all the growls, groans, and moans coming from her writhing lover. She felt how tight the body beneath her hands grew and knew it wouldn’t be long before her lover would erupt for her. The smaller woman wanted to force her love to come, push her until she could no longer hold back. She could tell she was almost there. Trying something she had only read about, but never tried Maura took Jane deep feeling her tip at the base of her throat. She swallowed as her research had recommended when attempting to deep throat and then hummed as she suckled, as another article had suggested. Then held on to her mate for dear life as the body below her arched into a tight bow and howled.

One moment Jane was fighting to hang on and the next lightning shot through her as Maura did something that felt incredible. Her body arced tight, a howl ripped from her throat as Maura took every last drop of ecstasy she had to give and then some.

As her lover slowly relaxed panting, Maura gently released her from her mouth savoring the taste of her love. “That was incredible. I tell you now, I am demanding that often. It was fun and I enjoy doing it.”

Unable to speak aloud because she was still trying to learn how to breathe, Jane spoke mentally. “It is really a good thing I am immortal. I love you my vixen and as always my body, heart, and soul are yours.”

“Good.”

Brown eyes popped open when she heard high heels hit the rug and was glad she had opened her eyes when her lover began peeling off her green lacy bits.

“Now hang on to that headboard tight love, because after spending the day watching you be all strong and powerful and you willingly giving all of that over to me tonight, I am in serious need of you. I am going to do everything I can to give you a ride you will never forget.” Her finger ran along one of the remaining symbols and she smiled when Jane groaned.

The snug node over her untried opening began to pulse and press stimulating the dark haired beauty’s body in a new and oddly arousing way as she watched her wife climb up and slowly begin to lower her steaming liquid core onto her. Jane had never felt anything like it. “You feel so wonderful Maura, this is all so awesome. I love you so much.” Her voice tight with emotion and pleasure.

“I love you too, sweetheart. Now hang on, I have only just begun.”

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Hours later the two well sated lovers slumped together, Jane still buried within her wife. She began to shift position, but Maura tightened her hold. “Stay love the material the strap-on is made of is non-irritating and has actual healthy skin benefits. Besides I like being connected so closely with you. I’m not saying I want you to wear it all the time, because I really love to devour you the traditional way and filling you with my own touch as you do me, but I do enjoy it and I can see you wearing it for me often. I am discovering that I may have quite the adventurous streak in the bedroom. I believe that has everything to do with how sexy and strong my mate is and how much we love and trust each other.”

“I love you so much sweetheart and I gladly look forward to exploring our boundaries with you. I’m also enjoying being held inside you. Relax fully on me babe and let me hold you while we rest.”

Maura did as asked with a pleased smile on her face, and a heart full to bursting.

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Dark eyes opened late the next morning. Sometime in the night she had slipped out of her wife. Maura looked adorable snuggled up beside her making the lightest of snuffling noises as she breathed. Her wife would no doubt deny it if Jane mentioned it.

The dark haired vision eased from her wife placing her pillow against the smaller woman tucking her in. Jane quietly went down the steps to the bathing area. Mother Nature was calling and she still had to figure out how to remove her new ladykock. A smile spread across her face as she thought about the loving shared in the night. Man she was a lucky woman. After a little fiddling Jane was able to remove the strap-on and answer Mother Nature’s call. She took a quick shower before tossing on a robe and heading into the sitting room to start some coffee in the small kitchenette in one corner.

While it perked she moved to get a better look at the Baby Grand piano. Pulling out the bench she sat rolling open the cover to reveal the keys. She had heard her wife on the stairs coming down from their sleeping loft and knew she wouldn’t be waking Maura.

The keys felt like old friends under her fingers. Without much thought she played Moonlight Sonata, segued into The Entertainer, before converting to Sweet Child of Mine. She stopped abruptly staring down at her hands. A knot formed in her throat as huge tears began to fall.

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Maura smiled as she toweled off, her wife was a very gifted musician. You could feel the music when she played. Jane brought the pieces she played to life. Maura frowned when the melody stopped abruptly and she felt the strong emotions coursing through her mate.

Quickly dawning her robe, she rushed into the sitting room to find her wife hunched over the keys, rubbing her hands together as she sobbed.

Rushing to her Maura took the upset woman into her arms. “Oh love what’s wrong? You played wonderfully. I had no idea you were so talented.” Zeroing in on how the woman rubbed her hands. “Do your hands hurt sweetheart?”

With that Jane’s arms came around her wife pulling her tight as she cried.

Maura simply held her love, settling to wait until Jane was ready to speak.

The emotional release spent, Jane eased away from her caring mate, drying her wet eyes on the sleeves of her robe. “Thanks for the support. I really needed that.” Jane smiled at her loving wife. “I played Maura. I played like I haven’t been able to in years.” A few happy tears slipped from her eyes. “I couldn’t after my hands were injured. It was too painful and I couldn’t make them stretch the way they once did. I tried to force it, but that only made my hands worse and made the muscles cramp up to the point I could barely use them. I lost that part of me. The piano had been a major part of my life up until the night I went into that basement and Hoyt took it from me. He almost took you from me as well.” Jane pulled Maura tight to her once more. “He is gone now. I ended him and I am glad I did and now I have back what he took from me.” She pulled back holding her hands out for her love to see. “They’re gone Maura. His scars on my hands are gone and my hands are like new again. I don’t know when it happened. We have been so busy and with everything else going on, I haven’t even noticed that I haven’t had to rub them when they ache.”

Taking the beautiful unmarred hands in her own Maura inspected them front and back marveling at the lack of scar tissue. “It must be all of the shifting. If we were injured we heal quickly, but shifting speeds up the process. Each time you’ve shifted it has healed you, until you now no longer carry the wound or the scar.” The smaller woman pulled Jane up opening the taller woman’s robe. She hadn’t remembered seeing any scars on the woman’s strong body. “They are all gone. Your gunshot wound scars. Everything gone.”

Jane picked up her lover, spinning her up, and onto the piano. “Now here is a fantasy of mine.” Jane opened her wife’s robe enjoying how she looked spread out across the glossy black finish of the piano top. The happy musician kissed, nipped, and devoured her mate creating music that to her ears was more beautiful than any ever made with a piano.

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It was well into the afternoon before the Royal couple made it out of their cabin. Jane wore what amounted to designer jeans and a comfortable button-up shirt in dark blue with the boots she had worn the day before. She liked the clothes her wife bought for her. Maura had excellent taste and she didn’t try to dress her all girly like her Ma always had. Her love even decided to wear slacks and a sweater that day, being as they would be flying all day and into the night once again. Maura felt it might be a little windy for a dress or skirt and she wouldn’t be able to get everywhere she planned to go when she toured the ship.

They climbed up to the forecastle together to look out at the new world around them. They were flying over farmland, lakes, rivers, and villages. From their vantage point it was all beautiful. They were standing together, with Jane holding Maura in front of her looking at the landscape as Nina, who had joined them shortly after their arrival, explained where they were and what they were seeing.

Jane turned as she heard someone coming slowly up the stairs behind them. She smiled when she saw Jeremy and Emily slowly climbing up. They both seemed uncertain of her, but Millie was at the bottom of the stairs waving them on telling them it was okay.

Jeremy had his sword and dagger on just as Jane did. Little Emily had her small new backpack on and had her bear and new doll, who also was wearing its backpack, snuggled in her arms.

Jane quickly kissed her mate on the neck. “I’ll be back.”

“Good afternoon Jeremy, Emily. You are both looking well today. Have you been treated well since coming on board?” She waved them closer as she sat on a bench near the railing.

Her acknowledging them brought both close and seemed to break the ice. Jeremy sat next to her on the bench, but there was no room left for Emily. Jane patted her leg and the little girl smiled climbing into her lap with help from the Alpha. Millie waved as she went back to help her Mother in the kitchens.

“We have been treated real good Laird. We got a real bath, and a soft bed off the floor, and the best food I’ve ever tasted. They even washed our old clothes. Cookie said that they wouldn’t throw our old things away unless we said they could. She said you ordered them not to, and to ask us first.”

“That’s true, but you don’t have to call me Laird. You can call me Jane.”

The boy was shaking his head. “It wouldn’t be proper. You’re my Alpha and a Laird. But I wanted to thank you for keeping our stuff. Even if we never wear it again it is the last things our Mom gave us before she died in a carriage accident six months ago. We want to keep them.”

“You’re welcome and I am really sorry about your Mom. Do you know if you have any other relatives?”

He shook his head. “Mom had no family and Dad was killed in a fight when Emily was a baby. He was a Lycan, a tiger. Mom was part human and part Magi. She had a bit of magical talent with sewing and things.”

“I don’t want you two to worry. I’m going to make sure you get a good home where people will love and care for you. My friend, First mate Nina, over there has already spoken with a couple who are eager to meet you. I think you should meet them and give them a chance.”

“Will we be seeing you again Laird?” The boy looked down expecting to be dropped off and forgotten.

“I imagine so. Nina says Cornelius and Jarvis don’t live to far from my wife and I’s new home. Besides I will be checking on you both often to make sure you are getting on alright. I want you both to be happy.”

Jeremy and Emily both smiled and Jane soon found herself hugged tight by both children.

“Thank you for not forgetting us.” Jeremy mumbled into her shirt.

Once again the Alpha surrounded the children with her will projecting safety and caring warmth. The kids were good kids. Their Mother had done a good job with them and they hadn’t been on their own long enough to break and she would do all she could to see that they never were. “I will never forget about you two. Now how about we compromise and you call me Laird Jane. Not as relaxed as Jane or as formal as simply Laird. How about that? We are friends now and you are part of my pack.”

Emily climbed up higher kissing her on the cheek. “I like you Laird Jane.” She had her doll and bear also kiss the Alpha’s cheek. “Brownie and Lilly like you, too.”

Jane smiled down at the adorable girl. “I like you, too.”

“Now I would like to introduce you both to my lovely mate Lady Maura.”

 

Maura had loved watching her wife with the children. Jane may be a big bad ass, but she would make a great parent someday.

The smiling woman approached when Jane invited her to join them. “Maura I would like to introduce you to two new pack members and personal friends of mine. Jeremy and Emily.”

Both children stood and bowed to Maura. “It is nice to meet you Lady Maura.” Jeremy said, using his best manners like his Mom had taught him.

“It is my pleasure to meet you both. My wife has spoken of you. How old are each of you?”

“I turned 11 a few weeks ago and Emily turned 5 shortly after Mom died.”

Eleven, Jane hadn’t thought over ten and small for that. “Well we will have to make sure that Cookie makes a birthday cake for the two of you for dinner tonight if she can. We can’t have you having had birthdays without a cake.” Jane looked to Nina. “Could you make sure she gets that request and inform her that Jeremy and Emily will be dining in the Grand dining room with us this evening?”

Nina smiled as she placed her fist over her heart in salute. “I will see to it right away.”

The children spent the rest of the afternoon with the couple. They accompanied them on their tour of the ship and Jane and Jeremy climbed up to the crow’s nest together.

Dinner that night was lively and happy, and both of the children had cake and ice cream after blowing out the candles and making a wish.

Jane informed Emily that Maddy was a fine hand at sewing and Emily needed to get with her and pick out some cloth she liked, because she and Maura were having Maddy make matching outfits for her, Brownie, and Lilly. The little girl gushed with excitement as did Jeremy moments later when Jane informed him that one of the crewmen was going to carve the hilt of his practice sword and dagger to look like hers.

Over the remainder of their journey everyone aboard the ship grew to care for the children, but anytime the Royal couple was out of their cabin the two women had two small shadows. The children even had the privilege a few times, to spend some time in the Grand Cabin with them especially when it rained or was very windy.

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For the rest of the week after their first night in Undrehiel, when Jane and Maura slept they found themselves transported into the presence of Lady Vivienne and Lord Fenrir. Their training was already beginning. They each received training with their sword or rapier, their dagger, throwing knives, and in Jane’s case also throwing spikes. They were also taught how to use a bow and Jane practiced with a crossbow.

The God and Goddess were excellent teachers and Jane and Maura learned very quickly. They both found they had a natural ability to retain most of what they were taught after the first lesson. Jane even more so than Maura with most of the weapons. It felt natural to Jane and like something she had always known just hadn’t practiced in a while. The two did practice during the day with various members of their security teams and also with the crew. Jane even took up a wooden practice sword and dagger and worked with Jeremy. The boy was an eager student.

They had been on board a little over a week and had made various stops along the way to trade or sell goods. Now however, they were over the ocean and the ship was slowly lowering and bells rang across the vessel as the crew cried out warnings to brace for a water landing.

The children ran to the Laird and Lady, latching on to them for support and in excitement, as the ship skimmed onto the water sending showers flying around them and making the kids squeal with delight. The Royal couple was laughing as well.

Not long after they began sailing across the water two tall rock like islands appeared in the distance. There was a building in the top of each island with a bridge between the two peaks. There was no obvious way to get up to the buildings, because it looked to be sheer cliffs all the way around the flat island peaks.

“That Laird is the entrance to the Province of Hecation. You must sail between the peaks to enter.” The Captain informed. “To truly see the islands one must be on a Hecation vessel or be Hecation. To anyone else all you would see is ruins at the top of the cliffs, not the watch towers, and bridge you are able to see. To outsiders it looks like more rocks are between the islands, the illusion prevents anyone else from attempting to sail through.” He looked to the crew nearby. “Hoist the Hecation flag mates. Let the gate guardians know who we are.”

Jane and Maura saw warriors were now along the bridge as well as along the tower walls. Apparently Hecation was a very well protected province.

The First Mate Nina waved the Laird near for a private word. “Laird once we pass under the bridge we will be officially in Hecation. Everyone on this ship except for the two children know who you really are. Once we enter Hecation the ban that prevents us all from speaking freely of you and your lady’s identity lifts. Everyone in the Province has been awaiting your return and there will be fanfare. You may want to share with the young ones who you are before they find out some other way and might get their feelings hurt. Maybe not Emily so much, but your Jeremy’s hero and he might think you didn’t trust him with the secret.” The woman advised.

Jane agreed. “The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it. I have lots of nieces and nephews. I have had plenty of practice.” She smiled.

Jane returned it before moving back to join Maura and the children.

Once the ship cleared the bridge the view changed. It had looked like open ocean beyond the island now they were in a fairly busy harbor area and they could see land and a harbor town not far ahead.

Jane knelt down before the children. “Hey you two, I wanted to let you in on a big secret that only the people on this ship and those of Hecation know. We would have told you sooner, but it was too dangerous to discuss at the time. Now however, we are safe within the Hecation Province and I can share it with you. I don’t want you to treat me or Maura any differently because many will now, but you two are our special friends and still have permission to call us Laird Jane and Lady Maura. However, many others will know us as Laird Raven and Lady Snow, King and Queen of the Lycans.”

Both children knew who Lord Raven and Lady Snow were. It was one of their favorite bedtime stories. The children’s Father would tell it to Jeremy when he was little and their Mother carried on the tradition once he passed and Jeremy had done the same since their Mom died. Their Mother told them that one day the next Lycan King and Queen would come. The children could hardly believe their friends and protectors were those legendary people.

“You’re really King Raven and Queen Snow?” Emily was wide eyed and smiling.

“Yes Emily, we really are.”

The children smiled to one another before both knelt on one knee in front of the couple baring their necks and putting their small fists over their hearts. Both pledging their loyalty to the King and Queen.

King Raven bent low placing a gentle kiss as she breathed across their necks. Proving to them both that she cared and viewed them as close friends, like family, and that she accepted their pledge. Queen Snow did the same.

Cookie, Maddy, and Millie arrived moments later. They bowed to the couple. “Your majesties we came to help you pack and dress. I’m sure once your flag is raised to announce your arrival there will be quite the gathering at the harbor and all through the town. Millie will take the children and see that all their belongings are also packed and they are dressed properly for travel.” Cookie said when she straightened.

It looked like their time of living anonymously was over. From the moment they passed into Hecation they openly became Raven and Snow, King and Queen of the Lycans.

“Thank you Cookie. We would appreciate your assistance.” Maura smiled at the giddy woman.

Jane turned to the children. “You two go with Millie and get packed and ready to depart. The next step of our adventure awaits.”

The two grinned bowing low once more before racing off with Millie in tow.

Laird Raven turned to her wife. “Well my lady, shall we also go prepare for departure?”

A grin split the smaller woman’s face. “Why yes, my handsome Laird. I think we should.” She took her King’s arm to do just that.

Behind them the Captain yelled. “Hoist the Royal Flag!”

The couple watched as a large flag, half black, half white, and fringed in royal purple and emerald green rose above the ship to fly over the sails. Standing together on the flag was a large black wolf with golden eyes and a gold Royal band on its front leg, and a white wolf, a little smaller than the black, with emerald green eyes and a silver Royal band on its front leg. The smaller wolf leaned against the larger. The black wolf was on the white half of the flag as the white wolf was on the black half.

Cheering, howling, bell ringing, and horn blowing rose from their ship before more of the same was heard coming from other vessels in the harbor area. Many were excited to see the Royal flag. A standard that hadn’t flown since the days of the first King and Queen of the Lycans.

Soon the couple was packed and ready to go. They each wore the same outfit they wore upon their arrival to Undrehiel except now they were a bit better armed. They stepped out of their cabin climbing up to stand by the Captain as they headed into the harbor to dock, it was time for the next part of their adventure to begin.

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Another chapter down. I hope it wasn’t to lemony there in the beginning. My mind went a little wild when I began thinking “What If?” Honestly, I think if women could get each other pregnant without the need of man, it would not be long before men (i.e. Trump) would become the lesser in our world. Just my opinion since they wouldn’t have a third leg to stand on anymore. But it would be cool if women really could knock each other up if they wanted. ;-) Well we are finally to Hecation, some of the Royal couples training has started. It looks like we are moving right along. Please let me know what you think. I love hearing from my readers. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 23

The couple watched as their now three large Royal traveling trunks were rolled out to the main deck for offloading. Their two smaller trunks were stacked with them. The two additional large trunks and the one additional small one had been stored aboard ship awaiting their arrival. Maura had no problem filling them. She found things she loved at every stop the Raven’s Lady made.

They could see a large crowd had gathered at the harbor. Their fourteen guards from Wolfe Security were all armed and on alert as were Nina and a contingent of another ten guards. They were all going to be travelling with them to their new home which was in the middle of the Hecation Province. Their future home was simply known as King’s Manor and was outside of a village known as King’s Place. No hard or elaborate names there.

The large harbor town was Hecate City. Once they docked the women saw warriors in blue and black uniforms lining the roadway keeping the crowd out of the street and on the walkways.

Jane turned to Cookie, Maddy, Millie, and Bo Miller, who was Cookie’s husband, and Richie Mason who was engaged to Maddy. The family and a few of the other crew besides Nina’s squad were traveling with them to King’s Manor. They would be driving the wagons, helping to set-up camp, and cooking. “I want you five to keep a close watch on Jeremy and Emily.” Jane ordered.

Looking down at the children. “I want you two to stay closely attached to your guards here. If Cornelius and Jarvis make good time we should be meeting up with them soon and they too can help watch out for you. I have a feeling this is going to be a slow journey with lots of fanfare along the way. So please be careful and stay with the Miller family especially when the crowds get large.”

“We will take good care of them Highness.” Bo promised.

Jane nodded twisting back to watch the Raven’s Lady dock at the harbor. Captain Donovan’s crew worked like a well-oiled machine.

The Royal couple and their guards waited until the wagons were loaded with all the cargo and crew that were heading to King’s Manor. Jane sighed in relief when both the children were seated on the front bench between Cookie and Bo on one of the wagons.

“They will be okay dear. The Miller’s will watch them like they were their own.” Maura whispered in her mate’s ear. Her love only nodded in agreement.

The four wagons were held in place awaiting departure. Jane and Maura faced the Captain. The dark haired woman offered her hand. “It was a pleasure meeting you Captain Donovan. It may be a while, but we will be seeing each other again. You take good care of The Raven’s Lady for us. Please take the crew out for a hearty dinner and drinks on us. They made the journey an enjoyable one.”

The Captain shook the King’s hand. “It has been an honor meeting you both and I look forward to serving you further in the future. And rest assured your ship is in good hands. I also thank you both on behalf of myself and the crew.”

Jane and Maura didn’t tell him about the letter Jane left in his cabin with instructions for bonuses for everyone who had traveled with them on the ship. He would find it soon enough.

The man bowed to Maura. “My Lady, it has been a pleasure.”

Maura smiled nodding. “Yes it has Captain, and thank you again for such a delightful journey.”

The Royal couple moved as one to join those left to depart the ship. Half of their Wolfe Security contingent was in front of them along with half of the ship guards. The other half of both parties were behind them. The large group slowly made their way off the ship. Once on the large dock guards moved to stand beside the couple as well as before and behind. Jane felt Maura holding tight to her as they entered the street and the crowd pushed against the uniformed warriors.

Many called to them, some were happy to see them, some wanted proof of their identity, and some even called out comments about their beauty and things of that nature. The couple smiled and waved to the crowd as Goddess Vivienne had instructed in their latest training session.

Before they made it to the waiting horses a large man in a suit with several warriors around him approached. Both groups came to a halt.

“I am Charles O’Halloran, Mayor of Hecate City. With me is General Poledio of the Hecation Army. We are here to test the validity of your claim, to make sure you are the ones we have been waiting for. It is told in the history of Lord Raven that the King of the Lycans can push back the combined force of wills of fifteen strong Alpha warriors. We would like Laird Raven to do so, as proof of her identity.”

Jane and Maura moved up among their guards. Jane slipped off her jacket as she walked, her Royal band gleaming on her well formed bicep. Maura took the jacket laying it over one arm. She squeezed her loves hand. “You can do this easy and we can be on our way.”

“Thanks for the support sweetheart. Do not step out from behind the front guards please. I can handle anything that comes my way, but I will be able to focus better if you are protected.”

“I will love. I don’t want to do anything to distract you in this situation.”

Jane lifted her Queen’s hand and kissed it before stepping away, and in front of Marcus and Zeon, who led the group.

Laird Raven stood proud and tall before her guard. Several magic imagers were going off as they captured the first clear pictures of the new King. A legend in the making. “How many Alpha warriors do you have with you?”

“Myself, the General, and thirteen others!” The Mayor’s voice rose to be heard over the crowd.

“Do you have five more strong Alpha warriors who can join you? I don’t want to leave any doubt as to who I am.”

The Mayor looked stunned, but the General smirked as he picked five warriors from the ones holding the crowd back. The remaining warriors shifted to fill the gaps.

Raven stepped closer to the group of warriors wanting none to think she had any help from those at her back. “You may begin anytime you are ready.”

Laird Raven felt it as all the strong warriors banded together bringing their wills to the forefront. The General was their conduit or focus. Without a focus their combined wills would lash out at everyone around them. The General made sure all of their combined force was directed solely on the woman in black.

They were strong, but not stronger than facing Maura at full capacity along with five other warriors. Raven smiled at them when she felt them peak. Her will flew from her surrounding the warriors, slowly taking them all to one knee before her. She held them there as she moved closer to the General and Mayor.

“Do you have your proof?”

In answer the General bared his neck. Jane blew across it before taking a few steps back then releasing them.

All twenty warriors bowed to her with fists over their hearts. “It is an honor to have you in Hecation you’re Majesty. I have warriors waiting near every town and village your party will pass through on your way to your home. I and the now eighteen warriors with me would like to join your party as escorts and additional security.” General Poledio stated.

“I will accept your offer. Alphas Marcus and Zeon of Wolfe Security are the current heads of our guard detail.” She waved them forward and Evie and Alexi moved closing ranks before Maura.

She introduced the three warriors. “Marcus, Zeon you will coordinate security and travel with the General. He and the eighteen warriors with him will be joining our party for the remainder of our journey.” It didn’t take long and soon Jane was walking back to her Queen.

“You were awesome, love. I really liked how you topped the old King’s number. It was a nice touch.” Maura stood on tiptoe as she pulled her warrior down for a quick kiss that received whistles and cheers from the crowd, as well as a few ‘Ahs’.

“Thank you love. Now let’s be on our way. I can’t take this crowd much longer.” Jane slid her jacket back on as they made their way to their horses. Maura would be riding a beautiful white gelding and Jane a large pure black stallion.

Laird Raven easily lifted her lady up onto her horse holding her easily aloft as Lady Snow moved her skirts into place before gently setting the Queen in her saddle. That casual show of strength was not missed by the crowd. The King easily bounded up into her saddle from a flat footed position without using the stirrups showing off her agility and skill. The black did not skitter or shy under King Raven, but stood proud and answered the slightest of touches from his rider. The white gelding doing the same for Queen Snow.

Soon the entire procession was mounted up slowly making their way through Hecate City and out the city gates all the while Hecations were cheering and waving as they passed.

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It wasn’t long before the Royal Caravan, as it began to be called, met up with two lone riders who said they were expected by the King. General Poledio sent a man back to speak with Laird Raven.

Jane smiled when she heard who they were. She turned in her saddle. “Nina!” It wasn’t long before the woman rode up beside her. “Cornelius and Jarvis are here would you please ride up with this warrior and verify it is indeed our friends. If all is well please escort them back.”

“Yes, you’re Highness.” Nina saluted with fist over heart and rode away with the other warrior to the front of the procession.

“You doing okay love? Is it bothering you that everyone seems to be directing their conversations and questions towards me?”

“Honestly Jane, I’m glad. No offense, but I like being the woman behind the King. There can only be one leader dear, and you are it. Besides I have a really great view from my position behind you.”

Jane snorted a laugh that had a few people looking at her, but she didn’t care. “I love you. I can’t say it enough. And having you behind me, supporting and sharing this adventure with me, means more than I can possibly express.” The Laird waved to some kids who had come up to the roadside and were waving frantically at her. They cheered when she waved to them. “I’m really glad we can talk like this or I might go mad.”

This time Maura stifled a giggle. “I love you as well sweetheart. My daily expressions of love hardly seem enough to convey how much. Sharing the journey of our lives will always be a gift I will cherish close to my heart.”

“That was very poetic Maura. It’s a good thing no one else can hear us being all sappy together, they might doubt my badassedness.”

Maura laughed again. “Badassedness isn’t really a word, dear.”

Jane grinned. “It is now. I am a powerful King and I declare it so.” She sent a mental hug to her wife as she focused her attention on the two men riding towards them.

One of the riders was a large warrior with shoulder length light brown hair and lots of muscles, while the other was a smaller man with a much leaner muscular frame with blond curly hair that hung over his collar. They reminded her of Herc and his sidekick on an old television show. That thought almost had her laughing aloud again.

“Your Majesty, I would like to introduce you to Cornelius and Jarvis.” Nina pointed to each man as they gave a slight bow from their mounted positions. Cornelius was the large warrior and was Fae. Jarvis was the smaller of the couple and an Elf.

“It is a pleasure to meet you both. Nina and others aboard the Raven’s Lady have spoken highly of you. I look forward to getting to know you both myself.” Jane indicated her wife. “This is my mate, Lady Snow.”

“It is our pleasure to meet you both and Nina also spoke highly of the two of you. We also look forward to getting to know you and to getting to know the children as well.” Jarvis smiled at both women.

The Laird nodded. “Nina can take you back and you can ride beside the kitchen wagon and take the opportunity to talk with the children and see how things go. With Cookie around I am sure all will go smoothly.”

“We hope so.” Cornelius wished.

“Nina, please escort them back and make introductions. Tell the kids Maura and I will be seeing them later when we stop to make camp.”

“Yes, you’re Highness.” Another salute which the men copied, and the trio turned their horses to head towards the wagons following them.

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The women wanted to help set-up camp, but soon found that most of the Hecations showed them too much deference for them to actually be useful.

Evie laughed as the two women who were so used to getting in the middle of things and helping out, accepted a blanket offered by Cookie, and sat under a nearby tree to watch until their tent was ready. She knew they could easily force the issue, but that would have made the Hecations highly uncomfortable.

Evie and Ashley were assigned as the Royal couples personal guards for the evening. “You will get used to it. There will be plenty of times when you will be expected to be in the middle of things. Setting up camp is a simple thing they want to do for you.” Evie assured them.

“I get that, but I still feel weird sitting here relaxing while they work. Even little Emily is helping out.” The Laird leaned back against a tree with Maura using her King as a backrest.

The woman in white patted a black clad thigh. “You will get used to it my King and they will also get used to you. It is a learning experience for everyone.”

“You are a wise Queen, my love.” Jane kissed her lady’s neck pulling her close.

 

Jane and Maura were a bit surprised by the comfort within their tent. The tent was fairly large. The back half was a sleeping area. It held the one large traveling trunk they had packed specifically for the journey and one smaller one packed for the same purpose. The couple’s other trunks would stay in the wagons. The sleeping area held a thick cushion upon a wooden platform laid out on a rug that covered the ground of the back area. A few colorful pads were thrown on top of the cushion with blankets, throws, and pillows. It looked like the most comfortable bed the couple had ever seen in a tent. A tall table sat in the corner holding a large wash bowl and pitcher.

A heavy curtain like divider could be dropped to separate the sleeping area from the common area of the tent. The common area also had thick colorful rugs covering all of the floor except for a small rock ring in the center of the space with black crystal type stones piled within it. Cookie explained to them it was for heating purposes and that the black stones were called fire rocks. They were mined and made in Hecation and anyone with a little magical talent could activate them and easily heat spaces. Some even made ovens of the stones. Cookie taught the women how to spark the stones and dampen them.

Four wooden folding chairs sat to one side of the space with a table between them. On the other side of the common area was another raised platform only smaller with a cushion and several large pillows that could be used to prop up on or moved onto the floor for additional seating. White globes hung from the beams of the tent. Cookie also showed the couple how to magically work the Fae light spheres. Both women were fascinated by the stones and spheres.

Instead of eating in their tent that evening Jane and Maura joined the others at one of the fires that had been built. They sat together on a log with plates in their laps like everyone else and ate, talked, and laughed.

Seeing how at ease those from Wolfe Security and the Raven’s Lady were with the Royal couple slowly drew in the Hecation warriors. One such warrior finally got the nerve up to ask Jane about her fighting ability. Her ability to use her sword in particular. “King Raven we all know you are mighty in will, but how are you at wielding the sword at your side?”

“I do alright. I have been practicing with our guards and the crew of Raven’s Lady, but I’m willing to practice with others. If one is smart they learn from every opponent they face and from the knowledge and experience of those around them.”

“I’m one of the most skilled with a sword in my company. Would you cross blades with me Highness?” The large man respectfully challenged.

Raven inclined her head and stood. “First I would like to know your name. Let’s not cross swords as strangers.”

“I am Sargent Gilbrate Masdone, but my friends and family call me Gil. You may call me Gil as well, Highness.”

“Thank you, Gil. And while we are relaxing among friends you may call me Raven.”

The blushing man nodded in agreement.

Everyone moved to the clearing. All those not on sentry duty that is. Most were curious to see how the new King fought against one of the best swordsmen in the realm. The Srgt. had been being modest when he said he was only one of the best in his company.

The fight started off slow each feeling one another out. Gil was very good and nearly disarmed Jane a few times, but as with all of her previous training and practice she picked up fighting skills almost instantly upon seeing them and the more the pair fought the more skilled Jane became.

Jane saw a moment where she could have defeated the warrior, but he was a very skilled swordsman and she had learned a lot from him in a very short amount of time and she did not want to make him look bad in front of his peers. She brought the bout to a draw clapping the warrior firmly on the shoulder. “Thank you for the lesson Gil. You are a very talented swordsman. I can learn a lot from you and I hope we can spar again.”

He bowed to her. “It was my honor. I don’t believe I have ever met anyone who has ever learned so quickly. You are a very observant fighter. I would be honored to spar with you again.”

That started a nightly routine of warriors sparing with the King and occasionally the Queen as well. They were all impressed with how quickly the King absorbed knowledge and fighting skills. There were equally impressed with the Queen’s skill with a rapier.

Jane and Maura also spent time each night with the Jeremy, Emily, Jarvis, Cornelius, and the Miller family. It seemed that the children got on well with Jarvis and Cornelius, but a bond wasn’t forming between the four of them. The children seemed to be more attached to Millie, as she was to them. Cornelius and Jarvis also noticed and spoke with the Royal couple about it. It was decided that they would continue traveling with the children to see if the situation changed. But if not, Jane stated she and Maura would come up with a solution to keep the children with Millie in some way, if that was what Millie wanted. They spoke with Cookie who was also aware of the bond developing and she agreed with the Laird’s decision.

Halfway through their Journey the Royal Caravan came to a large forest. Some trees were very tall with trunks easily three to four foot wide, but what really caught their attention were the trees about the height of a fully grown oak tree. The trunks of these trees ranged from thirty to fifty feet across.

Dwellings were carved into the still living and thriving trees. Well-manicured yards and gardens were around many of the tree homes and children were playing in several yards. A horn sounded as the first of the Caravan entered the forest. Doors flew open and homes emptied to watch as the King and Queen rode past.

No adult who exited the homes stood over five foot tall and all had pointed ears. Evie rode close whispering. “WoodElves, cousins of the ForestElves who dwell in the higher canopies of trees and who are slimmer and taller.”

The couple smiled their understanding. They waved to the Elves as they passed. The forest was like a city in itself with many dwellings in the large wide trees and also areas with homes built in the dense canopies of the skinnier, yet much taller trees. Bridges and walkways were built around and between the treehouses and ladder and pulley systems ran from treetops to ground level. ForestElves waved from the canopy and bridges. It was all breathtaking. In the very center of the forest they found the actual village. A clearing with a few more traditional style buildings were found there, however most shops looked to be carved out of the trees that surrounded the clearing. A very tall and wide tree that dwarfed any they had yet seen was located in the center of the clearing and village. The whole area looked to be set-up for a fair of some sort.

General Poledio and Marcus rode back along the column to join Jane and Maura. “Laird Raven the village Elder of Elfwood has invited you and your Lady to stay in her home and to join the festival in honor of your return.” General Poledio informed.

Marcus smiled. “It would be a good opportunity to let the horses rest up and for the both of you to get to know some of the citizens of Hecation. Though only about half of the Province is of Lycan blood, all of Hecation considers themselves members of Laird Raven and Lady Snow’s pack. They were when the first King and Queen of the Lycans dwelled here and they have remained loyal to the memory of their leaders and have looked forward to the Heirs return for many generations.”

 Jane looked to her wife. “I could use a little time out of the saddle and this would be an interesting place to explore for a day or so.” Aloud she spoke. “What do you think, dear?”

“I think it would be nice and a festival sounds fun.” For Jane only she sent. “I too could use some time off of a horse. I am not used to riding for so long.”

“I could always let you practice on me if you wish.” The dark haired woman teased as she spoke aloud to the men. “Tell the village Elder we would be honored to stay a bit for the festival and explore their inviting village.”

Marcus and the General both saluted before riding off.

“You may find me taking you up on that offer, sweeting.” The woman in white sent erotic images of how she wished to pleasure her mate and chuckled when Jane’s stallion danced a bit as the warrior’s body tightened.

“You are a naughty woman and I really enjoy and love that about you.”

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Jane and Maura rode up to the front of their party to meet the village Elder. A woman with long white hair who stood taller than a WoodElf, yet shorter than a ForestElf stood by the front gate of the large tree dwelling in the center of the clearing. A male ForestElf stood a step behind her, also with white hair, but had a short well-trimmed white beard to go with it.

Laird Raven dismounted and helped her wife to do the same. They approached the elder couple together.

The white haired couple bowed to them baring their necks acknowledging the Royal couple as their sovereigns.  The greeting was becoming familiar to Jane and Maura and they responded naturally, accepting the show of loyalty.

The older couple stood smiling at the acceptance. “I am Niani Pineheart, Head Elder of Elfwood and this is my husband and mate Omar Pineheart, also a village elder.”

“I am Laird Jane Raven and this is my wife and mate Lady Maura Snow. It is a pleasure to meet you both, Mistress Pineheart.” She smiled at the woman, then the man. “Master Pineheart. We look forward to exploring such an interesting place and attending your festival.”

“I will make sure you get a tour of our village if that is your wish. Our festivals are attended by many Hecation citizens from our woods and beyond. It is one of the largest in the area and we have one of the most popular warrior tournaments in the Province.” The woman waved towards the variety of colorful tents set-up in the clearing.

“As you can see many have already arrived. We marked off an area for your party to make camp.” Mistress Pineheart pointed to a large space with little flags in the four corners marking the borders. Other tents and camps were set-up around the area, but none crossed the marked off borders. “You may stay in your camp if you wish, but we have the rooms available for you in the Eldertree that your predecessors used before. Although they are larger now with the growth of the tree.”

Maura squeezed Jane’s arm lightly. “We must stay in the Eldertree dear, it would be rude not to and I am honestly very curious to see inside one of the tree dwellings.”

“I agree and am equally curious.” “We would be happy to stay with you, but are you prepared to have a few of our guards in your home as well? Our security team is very protective.”

Niani laughed. “Yes Laird, we are prepared and have three small rooms around yours available for them. A room on either side of your suite and one across the hall. They will have to share the privy at the end of the hall though. There is no private bath in the smaller rooms as there is in your suite.”

“I am sure they can handle it. It has to be better than a latrine in the woods and a camp shower.” Jane teased.

Marcus chuckled. “Evie and Alexi will be very pleased.”

Niani waved towards the house. “If you would please follow us we will show you inside.”

The group followed after the General and Marcus gave instructions on where to make camp. Zeon, Alexi, and Evie joined General Poledio and Marcus as personal security. Marcus and the General entered before Jane and Maura with the other three following.

The inside was all curves and arches and gleaming wood with large age rings throughout. “Maura I know it’s a tree, but I still feel like I have entered a fancy hobbit house. This is incredible.”

“You are really hung up on the hobbit idea dear. This place is a little similar, however I see several differences.”

“I do too, but a hobbit house is the only thing I have ever seen remotely close to this. And besides it is kind of fresh in my mind, because I sat through all the Lord of the Rings movies with Frankie and Frost not long before we left.”

“Ah. That explains a lot.” Maura turned to Niani. “Mistress Pineheart this is a lovely place. My wife and I have never seen anywhere like it.” She ran her finger along the grain of an arch as she walked under it. “The tree still lives and grows even as you live within it. We would love to hear how this is done.”

The elder woman’s mouth split into a wide grin at the fascinated and curious faces of the young Royal couple. “I will be happy to explain it sometime before you leave.”

The suite they were shown to, was on the uppermost floor and had a spiral staircase in a corner that led up to decks and walkways in the canopy. The inside walls were square, but the outer was curved with the contours of the tree. The furnishings were all part of the tree as well. The posts of the large bed ran up into the ceiling of the room as the base of the bed grew out of the floor. Sofas, chairs, dressers, tables, even the sink, tub, shower, and toilet in the bathroom were all part of the tree. It was truly incredible.

Jane and Maura both found the place amazing and couldn’t wait to check things out closer when they were alone. “This is a lovely room and I look forward to sleeping and bathing indoors once again. Our tent and even our bathing tent are great compared to any camping experience I could have imagined, but I still prefer indoor living if given the choice.” Maura smiled as she looked around the room.

While Mistress Pineheart showed the group the three smaller rooms for the guards and the privy they would share, Master Pineheart led Ashley and a few of the Hecation Warriors from their party into the suite Jane and Maura would share as they carried in the King and Queen’s trunks. The group also delivered the few packs that belonged to the five Alphas’ that would be staying in the house as well.

“Camp is being set up and the Royal tent is being erected as well in case you wish to relax some while you are out for the day during the festivities. We are putting out your weapons and other gear Laird and making sure all is polished and prepared for tomorrow and the next day. Lady Snow won’t have to worry about it. All she needs is to wear her usual weapons since she isn’t going to be challenged. No warrior of the tournament would ever challenge a healer. It simply isn’t done.” Ashley informed them.

“Why does Jane need her weapons ready for the tournament?” Maura asked the question that was uppermost in the Laird’s mind as well.

“It was always tradition for Lord Raven to compete in the tournament of the festivals he went to. It allowed the people to see him and to see what a great warrior he was. He was a warrior King and everyone believes that Laird Raven will be too. The Hecations want to see what type of warrior the new King of the Lycans is. They most likely have already added the Laird to all of the challenge lists in every category. This being your first showing and you so new to your role they won’t be expecting you to win the tournament challenges, but they will expect you to place within the top 10 of each category.” Master Pineheart explained.

“What are the categories?” Jane had been looking forward to some relaxing time off of her horse. Looked like she was going to spend the next few days having various types of beings try to kick her ass. Oh joy!

“There are a few different sword categories. Light blades like what the Queen carries, heavier blades like you carry, fighting with two swords at once, and also a sword and dagger. There is archery with long and short bows. Staff fighting, knife and axe throwing, hand-to-hand combat. There is a test of strength as well as one for strength of personal force or will. The last day there is an obstacle course that puts all of these things together along with agility and quick thinking. It should be lots of fun to watch.” The elder man sounded very excited.

“It might be great to watch, but how am I supposed to do all of that? I know I have been training on most of that with Lord Fenrir and some of the other gods and goddesses every night, all night for a while, but is that enough to keep me from getting my ass handed to me on the tournament field?”

“You will do fine dear. You are really very good and you learn new skills like no one I have ever heard of. Watch the other bouts as you wait and I’m sure Lord Fenrir will give you more training and some helpful coaching tonight and tomorrow night.”

“I sure hope so, because I have to make a good showing to help gain respect from the beings of Hecation. I hope you are ready to help heal my bruises sweetheart, because I have a feeling I will have a good deal of them tomorrow night and the following night as well.”

“I will be there for you sweetheart.”

“We don’t have the space for it or we would also have jousting and fighting from horseback, but you will get to do that in a tournament in a few months coming up in King’s Place. They have the biggest, most popular, and most extensive tournament and festival in all of the Province. Many of us travel there to see it and with the King actually competing in the King’s Tournament and with you both presiding over the whole Royal Festival it will most likely be the biggest gathering the Province has seen in many a year.” The more Master Pineheart spoke the more sick Jane felt at her stomach.

Mistress Pineheart noticed that the dark haired woman wasn’t quite as excited as her husband was and steered him off down the hall. “We will leave you to get settled. There will be food available for you out at the festival. Please try the different offerings of the many cultures that have set-up stands along the fairway. We will see you there.”

Maura put her arm through her wife’s leading her into their room. “We will get settled in and cleaned up and meet you all in about an hour to find something to eat and check out the first night of the festival.”

Evie grinned understanding that Jane wasn’t too happy with the turn of events, she couldn’t really blame her. They weren’t expecting it either or they would have warned her. “We will be ready whenever you are.”

Once inside Maura simply led her mate to the bathroom and began stripping them both down. Being clean and sexually sated would help them both think better and she knew Jane needed to be close to her at the moment, as much as she herself needed to be close to Jane. The next few days would be trying, but if her love did well it could gain them much with the citizens of Hecation.

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I love to hear from my readers. It looks like a little action will be going on in the next chapter. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 24

Hours later Maura and Jane returned to their lovely ‘living’ suite. It was still early, but Maura had put her foot down on staying out late once she saw the list of events on the large board near the tournament field and that Jane was ranked at the bottom of the bracket with the other untried warriors. Maura was getting her mate to bed early so she would have plenty of rest as well as the extra time to train with the Gods while they slept. Both women were worried about the day ahead.

After cleaning up for bed they climbed together under the soft sheets. Jane unable to not respond to having her sexy naked mate skin to skin with her. Their satisfying interlude in the shower had been hours before.

The tall dark beauty rolled over above her wife pressing her long body against the smaller warm one. Both women sighing in pleasure at the full contact. Jane kissed her first mating mark moving up the soft neck to nibble on a small earlobe. Her mate seemed to love that particular move very much.

The smaller beauty’s hands came up capturing Jane’s head, her fingers tangling in dark locks pulling her warrior’s mouth up to hers. The kiss was long, deep, and full of the love they shared. “You are not over exerting tonight, but I’m not denying either of us.” Without breaking the kiss Maura applied pressure.

Jane allowed her wife to roll them over where she was now on bottom. She pulled her wife hard against her loving the feel of her weight pressing into her.

Maura’s mouth closed around a firm breast and hard nipple as her hand mimicked the movement on the other. She loved having her strong mate under her. The Queen switched back and forth between the lovely globes for loving minutes until she felt the tensing in her wife’s strong body. Jane had incredibly sensitive breasts. Maura made a trail of hot open mouthed kisses down a taunt stomach and through trimmed curls to the full wet petals of her wife’s core. Her tongue and lips caressed and laved, driving Jane closer to the brink with every touch and stroke. Maura let out a little shriek when Jane sat up using her incredible strength to flip her wife around where the smaller woman was facing the warrior’s feet with a wonderful view of endlessly long legs.

“You may want me to take it easy during our lovemaking tonight, but I won’t be idle.” The Laird sent her lady as she pulled a fully erect clit into her hungry mouth and suckled.

It took Maura a few pleasure filled moments to get her mind to clear enough to go back to her enjoyable task. It was a race together to the summit, both women caught up in the pleasure of their bodies as they gave and received ecstasy. Their holds tightened on one another as they crested, each drinking deep of the fruits of their labors of love.

They lay panting for long minutes before Jane helped bring her spent wife back up to her side. They kissed and it was a marvelously intimate experience when they each could taste themselves and their wife as their lips and tongues devoured and caressed.

“God, I love you. I will never get enough of you.” Jane clung to Maura.

“I feel the same. It is like I need you to live as I need air to breathe.” Maura pressed even closer to the love of her life.

Jane eventually pulled back smiling at her wife. “You love are very poetic. I like getting to be the only one who sees that side of you.”

“You are the one who brings it out in me. I have never been particularly poetic before.”

“That makes it even more precious.” Jane kissed her wife one more time before sliding out of the bed to retrieve a glass of water and a damp towel to clean-up. She knew her wife would prefer to do so before they fell asleep.

Once done Jane flung the towel so it landed on the back of a nearby chair and sat the empty glass on the nightstand.

Maura snuggled close loving how well her mate knew and cared for her. No one had ever loved and taken care of her the way Jane did. No one knew her so well. Sighing in deep contentment she clung to her soulmate as they drifted into the land of slumber together.

 

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The warbling of birds outside the window finally woke the dark haired warrior. She opened her eyes taking a moment to focus before she actually saw four beautiful purple birds perched on the windowsill. They looked like finches although she had never heard of a purple one, but then again they weren’t in Kansas anymore.

Jane kissed the top of her wife’s head before slipping out of bed and heading to the shower. Her mind racing with all she had learned through the night and with thoughts of what the day would bring. She and Maura did not train together that night. Usually Jane would be receiving training in one area and she could see Maura not far away working with Goddess Vivienne or another ethereal being. However, that night Maura and the Goddess disappeared into a vast library that caused an excited gleam to appear in her love’s eyes. She had not seen Maura again until she returned to her sleeping body. Jane herself had been taken to an arena where she faced off with fighters that were experts in each event she would be competing in and also received more lessons on how to use her enormous force of will to increase her speed and physical strength. She had to channel it where she wanted it, how much she needed and when. It was harder than it sounded, because she had to do it while fighting at the top of her game. The Gods and Goddesses she fought were relentless and never gave quarter. Jane was glad the bruises and scrapes she earned on the ethereal plain did not follow her or she currently wouldn’t be able to move.

The constant fights in the ethereal arena had instilled in Jane more confidence in her ability, because if she could stand her ground against the heavens’ fighters she could against Hecation warriors. She only hoped that she didn’t find her ass in the dirt and a sword to her neck during her fights with them as she had with the gods and goddesses in the arena. Lord Fenrir assured her that one day she would be the victor against those great heavenly warriors. Jane wanted to believe that, but felt it would be a long time in coming.

Once dried off she combed through her hair and towel dried the thick mass once more. Back in the bedroom she smiled at her lovely wife still sleeping in the wonderfully crafted bed. Jane loved the fact that her wife’s hair was beginning to fill with red and auburn highlights, it practically glowed in the morning sunlight like deep honey mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg. She laughed to herself for her utterly sappy poetic thoughts, but Maura brought out that side of her. A part of her that was for Maura alone.

Walking over to their opened trunk she grabbed her robe off an inside hook and donned it before moving over to the window to get a better look at the purple finches. It seemed like they sang to her as they sat up and preened focusing on her. Jane briefly thought of opening the window to see if they would fly away and decided against it. With her luck they would fly inside and she didn’t think Maura would enjoy being woke up by birds flying over her head.

A knock sounded at the door and Jane made sure her robe was firmly belted before opening it a crack. Mistress Pineheart and a young female Elf she had met briefly the night before stood in the hallway with trays laden with delicious smelling food and coffee. Jane glanced to the bed assuring herself her wife was well covered. Whispering she opened the door to allow them in. She saw General Poledio was on guard duty in the hallway and nodded to him.

“Please ladies, come in. Place those on the table there. I was about to rouse my wife, but I believe these delicious aromas just may do it for me.” Both women smiled and blushed at the King’s praise.

“We weren’t sure what you liked, but we made some of our specialties and kept in mind your requirements of energy food for your coming day, Laird.” Mistress Pineheart began setting the table for them.

Maura began to stir and Jane moved to the bed with the woman’s robe. Her wife wasn’t really modest around the women who assisted them, but Jane still preferred Maura to have a robe on.

A smile spread across Maura’s face as she looked up at her lovely wife. She truly was beautiful, and usually always carried a roguish gleam in her eye that she loved. It was no wonder men and women were so drawn to Jane. Still unbelievable to her was Jane’s cluelessness to the true impact she had on others. “Morning love, looks like you have been up for a while.” Her warrior smelled of clean skin and hair and a scent that was all Jane.

“A little bit.” Jane leaned down for a quick kiss. “Mistress Pineheart and Lori have brought us a wonderful breakfast. I thought you would want to eat while it was still warm.”

“It smells wonderful.” She sat up accepting her mate’s help in slipping her robe on. Jane did not care for others seeing her completely naked even if they were maids sent to help her dress. Maura could hardly argue though, she had a similar feeling when it came to her wife.

Lady Snow briefly greeted the women before excusing herself to the bathroom. The other women were gone when she stepped back into the room. Jane stood and held her chair helping her settle at the table. Her gallant mate did things like that for her often and without thought. Jane was a true gentlewoman. “Thank you, love.”

They shared another quick kiss before settling into the morning meal together. It was all delicious and Maura was happy with the nutritional value of the meal. It was an excellent meal for a warrior to eat before an active day of fighting. “Eat till you are full dear, but not stuffed.” Maura advised her warrior.

“Yes, dear.” Jane smiled, if her Ma had said that to her she would have rolled her eyes and ate too much on purpose. However, with Maura it only made her feel warm and fuzzy inside that her wife cared so much. All things were different, more, and better with Maura.

They ate and talked of their nights. Maura had read books and visited with healers. Goddess Vivienne thought that other than practicing daily Maura’s skills with the rapier, knives, bow, and martial arts were at an acceptable level for her and that she currently did not need any more ethereal training in that area and she would begin to learn more about the healing arts.

Jane smiled at the excited chatter of her wife. Maura laughed and crooned sympathetically when Jane told her of her night gaining hard and painful lessons in the arena. Soon the meal was done and Maura escaped back into the bathroom to shower and prep for the day.

Jane set their trays outside the room and took the time to perform a routine very similar to Tai Chi as she practiced focusing her will and stretching and warming her muscles. The routine also helped to settle her mind. It was one of the first things Lord Fenrir had taught her.

The birds had flown away earlier when the knock on the door came, but had returned and sat watching Jane intently throughout her entire routine. They continued to do so as Maura came out of the bathroom followed by a myriad of alluring scents. Maura spotted them and cooed over how precious and beautiful they were. The little birds seemed to understand and preened for the woman.

“We will have to ask Mistress Pineheart about them.” Maura said as she turned to the trunk to pick out her clothing for the day.

Jane slipped on comfortable pants and shirt before putting on her new sneakers. It was a nice change from the boots she had been wearing so much of lately. She would be changing into her fighting gear later in the Royal tent in her caravan’s camp. Maura didn’t know about the very minimum outfit that was worn in the tournaments. Jane had been introduced to it during her time in the arena the night before. It took some getting used to, that was for sure.

Maura was dressed in a beautiful forest green dress with white and gold accents. The sleeves were three quarter length and her silver Royal band gleamed.

“You are breathtaking.” Jane stepped to her kissing the gorgeous woman.

Another knock at the door forced them to part. “Come in.” Jane called. She knew it was Mistress Pineheart returning this time with her husband.

All five of the Royal couples bodyguards were now also in the hall dressed in their security uniforms. They would not be competing in the tournament as many of their other warriors were. Their full attention would be on the Royal couple. Nina would be joining them in their bodyguard detail. Each woman would have three guards at all times. Jane had stipulated that they were not to be too close or obvious. She and Maura needed to be approachable. They needed to get to know and be known by the citizens of Hecation. Both women would be armed and were skilled in protecting themselves, what they needed was someone to watch their backs.

The couple began getting their weapon’s in place after Evie came in with the Elder couple. “Morning, Laird, Lady. I hope you are both ready for the day ahead.” Evie smiled as Jane rolled her eyes.

“We’re as ready as can be. Are the others of our party up and ready as well?” Jane helped Maura slid her knives into her fashionable boot before turning to the others.

“Yes they have broken their fast and are preparing as we speak. Your things Laird are ready for you in your tent.”

Maura smiled at Mistress Pineheart. “Niani, I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of birds those four in our window are. They have been about all morning. Jane said it almost seemed like they were watching and listening to her.”

That drew everyone’s attention even those still standing in the hallway outside the open door.

The Head Elder’s hand went to her mouth. “Oh my! It is very rare to see a Royal or what is commonly called King Raven’s birds. They only live in two places in all of Undrehiel at present, though long ago they dwelled in many places in our world. They live on the property of King’s Manor and in the forest surrounding the Palace of the Lycans. A being is lucky to hear them sing and even luckier if they ever catch a glimpse of them. They have the ability to hide well and some believe become invisible. Long ago Lord Raven saved the ruling pair and they were devoted to him and his lady from then on. The birds have been scarcely seen since the first King and Queen left the realm.”

Jane finished strapping on her weapons before walking over to the window. She unlocked it sliding it up. The birds sat still staring at her. “You are welcome to come in my friends.”

They chirped and flew in. Jane instinctively held her arm out before her and the four small birds perched there so lightly she could barely feel them. The largest bird of the four hopped up her arm and pecked once at the gold band on her bicep. “Yes little one I am Laird Raven King of the Lycans.” The quartet warbled together and actually bowed their heads to her.

Jane continued to follow instinct and blew across the tops of their little heads and stroked each one with her finger. “It is an honor to have such loyal creatures as friends.”

The four preened and the larger turned to the others and made a few chirps and two of the birds flew to Maura perching on her offered arm.

“I do believe dear that those two were just assigned to you. We have gained four more bodyguards.” Jane smiled as Maura stroked the fascinating creatures.

The others simply stared at the Royal couple as they interacted with the rare birds. “The sight of the two of you with those birds will greatly reassure many in our world.” Mistress Pineheart stated gaining agreement from those around her.

Jane turned to them. “Well I suppose it is time I make my way to my tent and prepare for the tournament.” She held her hand out to her wife who took it gladly. The birds moving up to perch on one of Maura’s shoulders as the ones on Jane did the same.

The others nodded, many smiling as they all departed from the Elder Tree.

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Jane looked into a long mirror as she adjusted what amounted to a leather sports bra. It had incredible engravings on it. She had on clinging shorts of the same color, but of a slightly different material and over the shorts was a skirt type garment that was barely longer than the shorts and stopped a good four inches above her knee. The skirt was thick leather split many times so that one could easily move in it. It reminded her a bit of the skirt garments she had seen in old movies of Roman times. Jane had on sturdy leather boots that came to just below her knee. She also had leather gauntlets fastened around each wrist to mid forearm. Her hair was in a very tight French braid down the back of her head and her Royal arm band stood out on her bicep. Her knives were in place at waist and boots. Her sword was at her hip and she also had a special rig on her back that held two crossed swords. Her staff and unstrung bows lay on the bed behind her.

Maura had yet to see her dressed as she was. She knew the other female warriors’ outfits were the same as hers and the men’s also except they didn’t wear a bra. They were completely shirtless. Most of the warriors’ outfits would be varying shades of browns, greens, and blends of those colors. Hers would be the only black outfit on the field.

“Are you ready Laird?” Marcus’ voice came from the other side of the closed tent flap.

“Yes, Marcus. You may enter.” He did so followed by Jeremy. The boy was in sturdy brown pants and matching shirt with a blue vest over it. He and his sister had went through marked changes since she saved them from a mad hog. “You are looking mighty handsome this morning Jeremy.”

The boy blushed before putting fist to chest and bowing to his King. He was smiling when he stood. “Thank you Laird Raven. I am to be your page for the tournament. I will carry your weapons and get you food and drink when you need it and carry messages too if you wish.” He was very excited about his position for the tournament.

“I am honored to have such a loyal page at my side.” Jane smiled at the boy. “My staff and bow are on the bed.” She opened a weapons trunk and drew out a carrier with three throwing axes inside and offered the carrier to the boy. He took it putting it over his shoulder and head so that the carrier laid across his back. She then handed him a sheathed rapier hanging from a belt. He hung it over his opposite shoulder so that it would lay on his back crossing over the axes, the straps were crisscrossed on his chest. Jane was glad he was stronger than your average human boy, but was still worried about the weight of his burden. However, the Alpha didn’t say anything to hurt the lad’s feelings. She would have her warriors watch out for him. Marcus helped Jeremy strap the staff and the unstrung bows together to make them easier to carry.

Jeremy stood proudly by the tent flap with his burden ready to follow his Laird were ever she went. Jane left the tent and the area fell silent as the obviously strong and powerful warrior King emerged. Maura stopped talking in mid-sentence and ogled her amazing mate. She had never been one to put posters on her wall growing up or in college, but if she had posters of Jane as she was at that moment Maura would have used them as wallpaper. A few magic imagers went off and she made note to talk with Evie and Alexi about getting copies of the images.

The warrior sauntered over to her wife, her unconscious swagger evident.

“Jane you are so wearing that outfit in private for me sometime. You look amazing!”

“I will gladly do so. I am still waiting to see you in that overall outfit you promised me when we entered the depot station in the human realm.” Jane teased.

Maura laughed aloud as her warrior reached her and they shared a very pleasing kiss. Lady Vivienne had reminded them they were no longer in the human realm and should not be shy about public displays of affection. It was good for the citizens of Undrehiel to see them in such a way. It reinforced the power and strength of their bond. Many felt a happily mated pair made for stronger rulers than a single being or unaffectionate couple.

Jane and Maura had no trouble with following that advice and would probably take the Goddesses counsel about doing the same when they returned to the human realm.

They pulled apart and Jane settled Maura’s arm through hers as she looked down at little Emily in a pretty dress the same color blue as her brother’s vest. “My, aren’t you pretty. I love your dress.” She could see the heads of Emily’s bear and doll sticking out of the backpack the girl wore.

“Thank you Laird Raven.” The girl quickly bowed to her. “I am going to help Lady Snow like Jeremy is going to help you. I promise to take good care of her while you fight in the tournament.”

Jane reached over running her hand over soft blond curls. “With you at My Lady’s side I have no doubt she will be well looked after.” She tweaked Emily’s nose causing the girl to giggle. Looking over Jane smiled at Millie. “You are looking pretty too Millie and are doing a wonderful job with the children.” Even though Millie was older than Jane and Maura by twenty years she was still very young for a Fae.

“Thank you Laird Raven.”

Jane looked around, it seemed most everyone who was not on the current shift to guard the camp was ready to go and some had already left. “I guess we better be on our way.”

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Even though it was early in the morning a huge crowd had already gathered on the fairway and at the tournament grounds. As Jane and Maura passed they were given slight bows and they heard and saw the comments and pointing fingers at the purple birds. The two with Maura rode on one shoulder together, they perched on the side away from Jane. The dark warrior somehow knew they did that to cover the Queen from her unprotected side, because Jane protected Maura on the opposite side. The remaining two purple birds each rode on the hilts of the crossed swords that Jane wore on her back. The Pinehearts had been right about everyone noticing King Raven’s birds.

“I am glad Lady Vivienne helped prepare us for how everyone would treat us now. I feel nervous enough already with everyone staring at us. I would hate to add the insecurity of how to act to that. I would probably break out in hives.” Maura smiled at the crowd as they passed and waved to the young ones that waved at her.

Jane was doing much the same, but also aware of the warriors dressed for the tournament sizing her up. “I am glad also. I would be totally creeped out by now.”

The honey and cinnamon haired woman’s smile grew as she fought a laugh at her mate’s words. Jane often expressed herself in words that surprised Maura, however she imagined she did the same to Jane. They truly were opposites that attracted, yet fit together amazingly well.

The Royal couple entered the tournament grounds to find the stands full all the way around the field. Even the ground in front of the stands had people sitting in chairs and on blankets and the walk ways between bleachers was filled with standing spectators.

Warriors were gathering in groups across the field. Jane saw one group held the warriors of her party who had left early. Warren was one of them and he held a pole with the Royal Lycan standard waving from it. She grinned and stood a little straighter upon seeing it. Every group held a flag representing the village or family they were from. Jane escorted her lady to the raised shaded area in the center of one side of the stands surrounding the field. There were three rows of seating. The Pinehearts and a few other Elders were already present in the back rows.

Maura paused before the steps turning to her warrior. “Good luck out there today. I know you will do well.” She drew out a green bit of cloth that matched her dress from her cleavage. Smiling as the crowd nearby whistled. The smaller woman slid it under the outside section of Jane’s Royal band tying it firmly in place before giving her wife a thorough kiss. The crowd loved it as did Jane.

“I will fight well for you.” King Raven stated when they pulled apart.

Queen Snow smiled up at her love. “I know you will. I love you.”

“I love you too.” Jane kissed her hand and watched until her wife was seated front row center in the covered booth with Emily beside her and Millie next to Emily. Evie sat on Maura’s other side as Alexi moved to Millie’s other side. Marcus stood near the stairs and the two purple birds now perched on the opposite ends of the front railing. Her wife was well looked after.

Zeon, Nina, General Poledio, and Jeremy stopped at the edge of the field directly behind the King’s Warriors who were formed directly in front of the Royal box where Maura sat. Laird Raven strode confidently onto the field with much applause. The remaining warriors of her party who were competing walked with her. She moved to the front to stand by Warren.

The Master of Ceremonies was an Elf with salt and pepper hair and a matching trimmed beard dressed in red from top to toe. You definitely wouldn’t miss him on the battle field. The elf favored his grandfather Master Pineheart.

The emcee raised his hands to silence the crowd. The pendant around his neck glowed as he spoke, his voice amplified for all to hear. “We are all gathered here today to watch the mighty warriors of Hecation compete for top honors and to watch for the first time in many, many centuries the King of the Lycans compete on a field of battle.” Cheers from the crowd erupted.

Raising his hands once more the crowd quieted for the man in red. “Warriors you have all been given the rules. You will all fight with honor today. Dishonorable fighting is not allowed on this field of battle. The unranked warriors will compete first earning their chances to fight the warriors who have competed in tournaments before. We have warriors here today who have fought in tournaments from all over Undrehiel, not just our Province. It should be a grand day of competition. Now let our tournament begin.” The crowd and the warriors all cheered.

None in Jane’s party were new to tournament competition so they did not compete until later in the day. Their first rounds began around noon. Jane knew she would be run ragged by then. She was the only unranked warrior competing in every event, only a few of the high ranked warriors were also competing in every event. Bouncing from event to event over and over would be what her entire day would consist of as the competition continued to get harder, unless she was defeated in one of the events.

The warriors split up gathering at the areas where each event was to take place. Jane’s first event was single heavy sword fighting. The young fighter she faced looked cocky as did the older fellow coaching him.

“Do you want advice or coaching or me just to stand here and look pretty?” Warren asked.

Jane laughed, her tension broke. “I think you are doing just fine. Are you going to be following me around with that flag all day?”

“I will be, unless I am competing then someone else will hold it. The citizens want to know where their King is competing.”

“There is no use in me ever trying to fly under the radar is there?”

“No Laird. You and your Lady are well and truly out of the closet in many different ways.”

The black clad warrior chuckled again. “You are very good at easing the tension of the moment Warren. Thanks for that.”

“Anytime you’re Majesty. Anytime.” They spoke no more as the match was called to begin by the event referee’s. There were three at each event.

The cocky young man performed some fancy sword moves as he approached the cordoned off competing area. Jane slipped off her crossed swords handing the straps to Jeremy who now stood beside Warren. Ethan now held her bundle with staff and bows. “I’ll be back shortly to collect those.” She winked at Jeremy before turning to approach the referees. Her exercise that morning and the walk over helped to loosen her up, but she still rolled her shoulders and shook out her arms and legs bouncing on them a few times much like a boxer before fighting.

“No running out of the area or throwing dirt or grass in your opponent’s face. The first one to press blade to throat or heart, or force their opponent to throw down their sword wins. You may also win by forcing your opponent to leave the marked area. Now step into the center of the battle area and face off. Do not begin fighting until I give the signal.”

Both warriors nodded moving to the center and facing each other.

The instructions Lord Fenrir gave her were running through her head. Look for the advantage and finish the early bouts as quickly as possible to save energy, but don’t be over confident. Unranked did not mean unskilled.

A whistle sounded as the ref called fight. The male warrior came at her in a flurry of fancy blade work attempting to distract. Jane waited calmly watching, when the opening came she reacted quickly. Her blade flashed up catching his in mid flurry spinning it from his hand before bringing the flat of her blade down and around to sweep his feet from under him.

The cocky warrior soon found himself flat on his back wind knocked from his lungs, and a blade to his throat having no real clue how he got there, it had happened so fast.

The crowd cheered wildly. The large sheet of canvas suspended by magic above the center of the field shown on both sides of it a close up of the first event the new King fought in. All saw how quickly she had won.

After being declared the winner Jane offered her hand to the warrior helping him to stand. Unsure what to say she clapped him on the back. “You fought honorably. Good luck in the rest of the competition.”

The man only nodded as the King walked away to join her group. Her morning continued on in the same vein. She would observe and act quickly defeating her challengers one after another. The knife and axe throwing and the archery competitions were different. They lined up in batches of ten being as the events had the most competitors. Much younger and much older beings could also compete in the events. A strong arm and good aim was all that was needed.

Jane used the same technique she used to focus her will for strength and speed to focus her aim within herself consistently hitting the bull’s-eye advancing bracket after bracket throughout the morning.

At lunch Jane only had thirty minutes to eat and replenish some energy before the much more difficult afternoon began. She joined Maura who had food and drink waiting. It felt good to sit and Jane sighed as she sat next to her love.

“I am so proud of you, Jane. You are doing so well.” Maura kissed her breathless.

Once she caught her breath she laughed. “For kisses like that I will keep doing so.”

Her comment caused the elders around them to laugh.

Maura smiled. “Here eat your sandwich and drink your juice. You don’t have much time.” “You really are doing great. It was good strategy finishing your bouts so quickly. You are looking much fresher than I thought you would at this point.”

“Fenrir and I talked about it last night. I am really glad the overall strength competition as well as that of wills is tomorrow morning and if I can rank high enough today I will get a longer recovery time from that before my turn through the battle obstacle course.” Jane plowed through the meaty sandwich which also had plenty of veggies on it, but she was too hungry to care. She drank a very good dark red juice and started on the second sandwich Maura handed her.

“Me too. The Elders have really organized the tournament well.” Maura sipped her juice and slowly ate her much smaller sandwich.

Jane sat for a few minutes relaxing her body and mind after eating enjoying the simple pleasure of holding her wife’s hand as she watched the tournament continue. Maura had the best seat in the house. She could easily see the entire field and with the large suspended canvas giving her close-ups of certain bouts, Maura wouldn’t miss much of the action.

Reluctantly she stood then leaned down and kissed her wife deeply for luck before leading her guards back onto the field, an apple in hand. Her lady had slipped it to her as she eased from the kiss. Jane smiled as she bit into it, the sweet tarty juice dancing in her mouth. Her woman took very good care of her.

That warm happy feeling helped her easily get through the mid-level rounds of the competition. She had now begun to face a few of her own warriors. They fought well, but Jane fought better. She observed and absorbed everything around her cataloging new things and watching for strengths and weaknesses in potential adversaries. Giving advice to her warriors when one fought someone she had observed. Her warriors were doing very well in the tournament. All making it into the top ten of their events before being defeated by her or another skilled warrior. Jane defeated Max during a light sword bout and Silas in a two sword face off. In staff fighting she took Ethan out.

The fights were getting longer and harder, but Jane never gave up and always fought on with cool focus and determination. The final rounds of axe and knife throwing as well as archery were a nice respite from the grueling bouts of fighting. The crowd cheered wildly as a surprised Laird won the top spot in each event.

Those victories alone would push her up the ranking for the later start time in the obstacle course the next day.

She raised her arm that was still holding her bow up to the cheering crowd. “You are so brilliant my sexy warrior. I am so very proud of you. Now go kick some more butt. I am giving you a very thorough massage later. I’ll take care of all those wonderful tired muscles of yours.” Maura slid through her mind.

“Jesus woman! My shorts just got tighter in a certain area and it is a good thing this bra is thick leather or my nipples would be sticking out.” She smiled as Maura’s laugh sounded through her mind. “I love you sweetheart and I will do my best to kick some more butt.” Jane headed back to the section of the field where the last rounds of fighting were happening.

She faced one of her own again, but this time in hand-to-hand. Herron was a member of the group of guards from the Raven’s Lady. A wiry Lycan jaguar. He fought well and was tough, but Jane stuck it out to the end catching the man in a flip move that sent him flying out of the fighting ring. That victory put her in the final match for the event.

It seemed like days later and Jane felt tired and sore. However, she stood with six other warriors in front of the crowd. The seven of them were the final warriors remaining. One bout remained in each of the six events left of the day.

King Raven had already won the knife and axe throwing as well as long and short bow archery events, now she stood as one of the finalists in hand-to-hand, staff fighting, and the four different sword events. The crowd was going crazy. It had been many years since a warrior had won so many events and even longer since a warrior had won them all. Everyone was excited to see if King Raven could win them all after starting off at the bottom of the heap as an unranked warrior in all of them.

Jane had no idea if she could. The crowd kept her adrenaline up, but she was getting tired and she now faced the toughest competition of the day. Each match would take center stage and happen back to back with short fifteen minute periods between each one. That period had been extended from the original five minutes. It was in their rules to do so if a warrior was to fight in all final bouts.

King Raven’s warriors formed ranks on one side of the now raised battle platform. Jane closed her eyes relaxing her muscles and mind. She brought her will up building it tightly within herself forming a great ball of energy. She siphoned some off into her weary body holding the rest in reserve as she would need it. She briefly wondered if the others were doing the same. Lord Fenrir told her all great warriors learned to create energy from their force of wills when they needed it.

The first bout was hand-to-hand fighting, neither warrior wore weapons or shoes. The large Lycan bear she faced was beefy with lots of big muscles and a hairy body she wasn’t real thrilled to get up close and personal with. She was going over moves in her mind to try and keep herself out of the big man’s reach as much as possible. The man was a skilled brawler and liked to use his size and weight to take an opponent down. That was how he had defeated Warren to get to the finals.

As soon as the whistle blew he charged her in an attempt to take her down fast. She ran at him sliding under his reaching arms kicking him in the back as he passed causing him to stumble down on one knee on the platform, but he didn’t go over the side. He was up quickly, more wary now of his opponent. As he closed in Jane met him in the middle of the platform not wanting to get trapped too close to the edge. For a big man he was fast. The pair exchanged hits and kicks. Fortunately Jane avoided and managed to block more than he did. There was one close call when he grabbed her arm pulling her close and attempted to squeeze the life out of her. She used her forehead and long legs to get out of that one. After one solid blow to the sternum that winded him good, she was able to sweep his legs causing him to go down hard. Jane was on him quickly arm around the stunned man’s neck cutting off his wind pipe and pressing hard on pressure points to knock the man out. They never got that far. He tapped the floor signaling defeat seconds before he would have passed out.

Jane stood bent at the waist breathing hard as a healer checked the man over. The healer declared him okay, he only needed to catch his breath.

King Raven was once again declared the winner and the crowd once more went wild. Shouts of Raven! Raven! Raven! were being chanted around the field. Jane raised her fist high in acknowledgement before shaking her opponents hand and nodding to him. Neither spoke as they were both short of breath, just in different ways.

Jane stepped down off the platform accepting water and towel from a grinning Jeremy. She ruffled his hair as she passed before sitting on the stool on her side of the platform.

Jeremy brought her boots and socks and Jane began putting them back on. As she worked she spindled a little more energy into her body. No one spoke as they watched the Laird prepare for her next match. Staff fighting was the next event.

Once her boots were on Jane spent the remaining minutes meditating gaining focus and replenishing her body as much as possible.

She faced a Fae warrior once on the platform. The female warrior was as tall as Jane with equal reach. They appeared to be fairly evenly matched. The match was another long and brutal fight with a few close calls for Jane that brought the crowd to its feet. Finally in a flurry of moves so fast the spectators could hardly follow Laird Raven backed her opponent up to the edge of the platform, where with a quick change in mid-strike she hit the Fae warrior hard in the chest sending her falling backwards off the platform to land in the sand surround.

The chanting began again as King Raven was announced the winner. Jane’s between bout routine continued. The next four matches were the most dangerous. Many injuries had already happened from the sword events. One serious injury that could have ended in death if Maura had not have stepped in helping to save the Elven warrior. Proving to all Queen Snow was equally as powerful in her way as King Raven was in hers.

Jane faced another female warrior in the light sword competition. She came out with a minor cut on her arm, but had enough control to never once bleed her opponent. However, she did disarm her and pause her killing strike which could have run the other warrior through the heart.

Maura’s voice ran through Jane’s mind as the King stepped down off the platform with the blood on her arm. “How bad is it and do you need me to heal it?”

“I am okay baby. It is a minor injury and one that the field healers can easily close. I hardly feel it. I promise.”

“Alright, but I am still looking it over when I get you to our room later.”

“I look forward to it sweetheart.”

“You are doing so well Jane. I am not sure I should admit this, but seeing you fighting the way you are and hearing everyone chanting your name is really turning me on. I really like knowing that badass warrior everybody is rooting for is all mine.”

Jane chuckled ignoring the looks the healer at her arm gave her. “I am glad babe. I like having the Angelic Lady Snow as mine. The woman who can bring warriors back from the brink of death. I have heard many warriors on this field talking about the beautiful Angel that is their Queen. I wanted to be totally childish and tell them… ‘Neener, Neener, you can’t have her cause she’s all mine’. But I didn’t think a badass warrior King would do something like that.”

It was Maura’s turn to ignore looks as she laughed. “I love you sweetheart. You only have three more events to go and then I will feed you and take you to our room for a nice shower and massage. Now go kick some more ass so I can get you alone.”

“Yes, my Lady. I love you too.”

Jane climbed back up the steps of the platform the rapier replaced by her sword. The warrior she faced this time was part Magi and part Fae and carried a large broadsword with a long reach. She sighed, it would be another long bout, but she didn’t have it in her to give less than her all. This was a day where her stubborn streak and her competitive nature served her well.

The large warrior was skilled, but relied on brute strength too much. Jane matched his strength as she deftly blocked and countered his blows. They had been exchanging strikes for long minutes when Jane faked a weakness that her opponent went for and soon found himself on his knees with a sword at his throat. He dropped his sword in defeat.

Only two more to go was what Jane was chanting to herself as she meditated and recharged as much as she could. The sword and dagger event was next and was another long fight with a skilled competitor, but her opponent was getting tired quickly as the match continued and had misjudged a few times and bloodied Jane on her leg and side. It was a great mark of honor and skill to defeat your opponent and not draw blood. So far Jane had been successful at it all day long. As her opponent tired Jane picked up the pace until she once again sent an adversary off the platform into the sand. She immediately sent reassurances to her wife that she was truly okay. They were only shallow injuries.

 

Jane sat as the healers did their job sealing the wounds while she released even more of the ball of energy into her tired, sore, and injured body. Her next fight would be the toughest of all. She faced the father of the young cocky fighter she had faced first thing that morning. Jane had been careful all day to not open her mind to others so she could keep the fights fair, however the warrior was sending great waves of dislike at her and she knew he was not planning on pulling his blows. He wanted to bleed her as much as he could. He was a Lycan jackal, the leader of his clan and did not plan on ever answering to any King. He already ignored the council as much as possible. The jackal planned to show everyone that the woman King was less of a fighter than a real man and couldn’t handle herself in a real fight.

The warrior was a true enemy, one she had earned simply by existing, and aggravated by defeating his son and all comers throughout the day, leaving him to prove she could be beaten.

Laird Raven stood taking her double sword rig from Jeremy and strapping it on with his assistance. She ruffled the boy’s hair again. “Thank you for all your invaluable help today Page Jeremy.”

She bounded up the steps refusing to show her foe how tired she was.

The man only topped her height by maybe an inch, but he was a lot wider in the shoulders and didn’t appear to have an inch of fat on him. He did not bow to her as they faced one another which did gain him some boo’s from the crowd, so Jane didn’t give him the courtesy either. Jane wasn’t going to stoop to his level, but hell would freeze over before she bowed to the arrogant prick.

The jackal was a great deal fresher, only having fought a handful of times that day, but Jane knew she had more heart and a stronger backbone than he did. This was one fight she was determined to not lose, yet win in the most honorable of ways.

The big burly man drew his swords rapidly as the whistle blew going for a cross cut to Jane’s abdomen. The crowd booed him when it became obvious he was purposely trying to bleed King Raven. Jane’s swords were in her hands instantly as she nimbly side stepped his attempt to cut her stomach.

The referee called a warning on the jackal at the deliberate move. The fierce battle continued for forty-five minutes non-stop, the jackal constantly attempting to seriously injure the Laird. Jane had many chances to return the favor, yet didn’t. The man finally caught her across her stomach with a shallow slice, moreover seeing the blood on her seemed to enliven the warrior more. Still Raven refused to stoop to his level.

“You may bleed me all you want, but I refuse to draw yours. I will prove what an honorless warrior you are and defeat you without losing my own. We both know I could have easily done bled you many times by now. Everyone watching knows it. All you are doing is proving to all how much better I am than you.”

Jane was not aware that her voice would be magically picked up and carried for all to hear, but the crowd roared as she spoke and began chanting Raven! Raven! once again. The audience further enraged her enemy and he began trying to also use his force of will on her which was a big no-no in the event. The only events you were allowed to use it on others was at the test of wills and during certain parts of the obstacle course.

Alarms went off around the raised platform and an orange haze formed around the jackal indicating he was the one cheating. They referees began blowing whistles declaring the jackal disqualified, but Jane stopped them from ending the fight.

“Let us finish this. I will defeat him fair and square.”

The refs backed off as the jackal growled, his face changing as he charged. Jane’s swords flashed and during his feral rage she was able to disarm him and put her sword to his throat, however her opponent had shifted his hands into claws and he swiped at her again not giving up the fight. He spun away from her with the wild move and Jane brought the hilt of one sword around smacking him hard at the base of his partially shifted head sending the defeated Lycan to the sand below. He was already unconscious before he hit the ground.

The crowd went crazy as the tired bleeding King raised her swords above her head in victory. She had fought hard and with great honor winning the day. The King was nearly knocked off her feet when her beautiful wife ran up wrapping herself around the larger woman.

Jane quickly sheathed her swords catching her flying wife. The crowd loved the romantic scene of the Lady kissing the daylights out of her warrior and King.

Security surrounded the downed jackal as he began to wake. He was officially suspended from the tournament and possibly more. They heard the Elders say they were going to file an official complaint with the Hecation tournament board for further action for such dishonorable tactics.

While security was paying attention to the father, the son leaped onto the platform to charge the King while she held her Queen, but the Royal bodyguards instantly closed ranks. Furthermore the young warrior was taken down by four bright purple birds. One charged his face, one his chest while the other two hit him in the back of his knee bends. The young jackal was toppled from the platform in a roar of laughter to land beside his shamed father. Both warriors now fully suspended from the tournament.

Jane kissed her lovely wife once more. “Are you ready to take me home now? I have lots of placed for you to kiss and make better.” She forgot about the fact the crowd could hear her while still on the platform and wild cheers, whistles, and many ribald comments flew around the field. The King was too tired to blush and only smiled shrugging her shoulders in apology to her wife.

“Let’s get you home and I will take VERY good care of you!” Maura smiled as the stands and the field erupted even more. It was a highly charged night and Jane took in that energy jumping off the battle platform with her wife still in her arms. The crowd parted like the Red Sea as the victorious King carried her Queen away.

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So what do you think? It is a little longer but I got into the fighting stuff and the chapter grew. I hope I did okay writing about the events Jane competed in. So how did I do writing action, haven’t got a lot of experience at it. I hope you enjoyed and I would love to hear from you. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 25

King Raven carried her wife all the way back to their room. They were both happy to see food had already been delivered sitting on the table in covered dishes.

“Let’s eat first and then I want you to soak in a tub for a while.” Maura said as Jane sat her down on the bathroom rug.

“Sounds wonderful to me. I’m starved. However, I need to clean up a bit.”

The smaller woman took a moment to look over her warrior from head to toe. Jane looked sexy as hell. Her skin was slightly glistening from sweat, she was smudged with dirt, blood, and bruises, and a few strands of hair had escaped her loosening braid. Her muscles stood out from her day of exertion. Added all together Jane made a very hot picture of a conquering hero.

Jane’s mouth kicked up into a smirk as she saw the lust filled gaze of her wife. “I will gladly take you up on that look after we eat. I need to build up some energy to love you properly.” She pulled her wife to her taking her soft mouth in an unyielding kiss. She never hid anything from Maura in a kiss, always putting all she was feeling into it and the mental bond they shared.

After pulling apart the two quickly washed-up and dug into the large meal that had been delivered. Jane almost felt ravenous after her long day. A Lycan body needed more fuel than a humans, especially a highly powerful one who had expended great amounts of energy for many hours.

Maura watched amazed as her wife put away nine tenths of the enormous meal that had been prepared. The smaller woman wondered if she herself would eat that way when she expended a lot of energy. “Remember don’t overstuff yourself.”

Jane smiled as she used the last piece of some kind of dark grained bread to clean up the last of the sauces on her plate. “I will stop now the foods gone, but I feel like I could eat more. However, I will let my stomach settle first before I decide if I need to call down to the kitchen for more. I don’t think I have ever eaten so much in one sitting in my life.”

“I don’t think I have ever seen anyone not in an eating contest eat so much at once either. I think letting your food settle is a good idea. I’m going to get a hot bath running and help you out of your warrior gear then I want you to take a quick shower to scrub off before you soak in the tub.”

“Are you going to soak with me?”

“Maybe.” Maura quickly kissed her wife before heading to the bathing chamber. “Set all of those empty dishes back on the trays and put them in the hall please.” She tossed over her shoulder as she walked away.

Grinning the dark haired woman did as she was told. ‘I am so whipped’, she thought to herself once again, but was too happy to really care. She also knew when they stepped out the door of their private lives Maura took a step back and deferred to Jane in most things when it came to their public roles in Undrehiel Society, Jane had no problem not always being in control while in private. She and Maura balanced each other out well.

Opening the door to put the trays in the hall she found Ethan and Jeremy standing there along with two of the Royal bodyguards, Evie and Alexi.

“We will take those trays Laird Raven.” Jeremy stepped forward to take the first one. Jane stepped back into her room for the second one handing it to Ethan. “We will return for your weapons and fighting gear and have it ready for you in your tent in the morning. Mistress Evie already has your sword for you. Ethan helped me clean and polish it up real good for you.” The boy was taking his role as Page to his friend and King very seriously and Jane was proud of him.

“Thank you Jeremy. You did a good job today. I am proud to have such a fine Page. Maura will bring you my things shortly to take back to camp to take care of for me. However, I don’t want you staying up too late and you better find yourself a good meal soon too. Now get that to the kitchen and when you see your sister tell her that I am proud of her as well. She did well taking care of my wife today and I thank her for it.”

The boy grinned hugely before nodding and heading off with Ethan to the kitchen. The three women chuckled as the boy proudly walked off with the food tray.

Jane nodded to her friends and bodyguards. “Goodnight, ladies.” She said as she took her sword from Evie.

“Goodnight Laird.” The women spoke in unison.

Making her way into the bathroom she sat on a stool by the vanity and began working on her boots. “Honey, do we have a basket or sack I can put my gear in to make it easier for Jeremy to carry out to our tent?”

Drying her hands. Maura thought. “I believe I saw a laundry sack in the towel cupboard.” She moved to it to look inside. “Yes, here it is.” She pulled out a tan drawstring cloth sack about the size of a king size pillow case.

“That will work.” As Jane finished removing one boot her wife moved to help her with her other one. They worked together removing all of her gear.

Maura paused to examine the marks on her warrior’s wrist gauntlets.

“Don’t worry sweetheart, they did their job. I will get better the more I train and I won’t receive quit so many bruises and scrapes.”

“Some of these injuries were more than scrapes.” The doctor ran her finger along a faint red line of a partially healed blade cut.

“Yes, but they were all shallow and none were of a serious nature. I will always do my best to come back to you safe and sound.” She kissed her lovely caring wife. “Now I will scrub up real quick and we can soak together. You can join me in the shower too. I’ll scrub your back if you will scrub mine.” Jane wiggled her eyebrows suggestively at her wife.

Maura slapped her flirting mate on the ass. “Get in there and clean up while I give Jeremy this sack and your double sword rig.”

Laughing Jane hopped in the shower and was soon followed by her wife who did indeed help her scrub her back.

…..

Maura made sure she climbed into the tub first. Jane settled back against her with a sigh. They simply sat in comfortable silence for a while, the spell on the tub keeping the water from cooling. Maura began by kissing Jane’s neck then her marked shoulder while her hands began caressing her wife’s heavenly body settling on firm yet soft breasts. She smiled when her love groaned and pressed closer enjoying the way the soak was now going.

When Jane had shifted just right for Maura to reach her warrior’s center she delved in causing her wife to raise her hips into the contact. “Lay still Jane or I’ll stop. Keep your arms and hands on the sides of the tub. There will be no more exertion from you until you face opponents again tomorrow.” Maura’s voice was husky and firm and sent extra wetness into the hand between Jane’s legs. The smaller woman grinned at how her strong wife responded when she got forceful with her.

Maura kept one hand fondling erect nipples and swollen breasts while the other stroked her wife’s full core. The fight to stay still only heightened Jane’s arousal. The smaller woman felt the body against her tensing in impending climax.

Jane gave her body to her mate to pleasure, relaxing as much as she could into the delightful sensations coursing through her and soon found herself washed with pleasure as she cried her wife’s name to the heavens. Maura slowly continued caressing Jane until she fell limply against her. “I love you so much Maura. You may be the Queen of Lycans, but you are the Queen of my heart for all time.”

Wrapping her arms around her soulmate Maura smiled. “I love you too sweetheart for all eternity.”

They sat that way for long moments before Jane moved and used her strength and long arms to lift her small wife over her setting her angel down straddling her middle feeling Maura’s wet sex hot against her stomach. The warrior brought their mouths together in a passionate kiss before moving down to devour full plump breasts. Maura was clutching her strong shoulders and the back of her head as Jane devoured the delicious mounds.

“Oh God you feel good, but you’re not supposed to overdo.” Maura panted.

“I’m not.” Jane leaned away as she felt Maura beginning to rub her fiery core against her tight stomach. The dark warrior slid one hand to her lover’s hip and the other between her wife’s juicy folds to slide two long fingers deep into scorching heat. Maura groaned, her hips bucking. “Look at me Maura.” The warrior commanded. Her mate complied, her eyes full of pleasure. “Keep looking at me. I want your hands to pleasure those lovely breasts of yours while you ride my fingers. I won’t overdo. I’m going to relax and watch you ride to the peak on my fingers and in my hand.” Jane beamed as her fingers and hand were coated even more. “Don’t worry about falling, I’ve got you. I want you to simply enjoy and let go for me.”

The fair haired woman was not shy with her mate and began riding long strong fingers and pleasuring her breasts all the while watching the lust and pleasure growing in her wife’s eyes. That look succeeded in turning Maura on further. She wished Jane would bring her thumb up to her aching clit.

As if reading her mind Jane reached up taking Maura’s right hand guiding it down to that aching button. “I want to hear you come for me.”

Maura moaned louder as her fingers circled her throbbing clit and Jane slid another finger inside Maura as she lifted and lowered herself her thrusts growing more forceful as she neared completion.

Jane thought Maura was the hottest thing she had ever seen and had a naughty idea about how to get rid of the last of the energy ball that was stored within her. She knew she had to let it go before she could rest. The Laird felt how close Maura was as the thrusts became more erratic as she neared the peak. When Maura cried her name in completion Jane released that energy down through her hand as she sat up clutching her love close to her. Her thumb coming up to make contact with a very sensitive clit as the energy escaped her hand in wonderful pulsing waves that threw Maura into a spasm of repeating orgasms until she fell completely limp against her King. The Queen had actually passed out from the pleasure of what Jane had done to her.

The dark haired beauty simply caressed her wife for long moments before rinsing them both off and climbing out of the tub with her spent wife. Her own energy was flagging greatly afterwards. She dried them both off and let the water out of the tub before releasing Maura’s hair from its bindings. Jane threw back the covers laying Maura down first before following close behind. She would forgo the massage for tonight. A quick shift to wolf and back in the morning would take care of any lingering aftereffects.

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Jane did not see Maura that night before she joined Lord Fenrir and other heavenly fighters in the arena. They didn’t work with her on her strength of will. That was something they all knew she would have no problem with the following day. They did work a little with her on the physical strength part and how to use her force of will to increase that as well. It was similar to creating an energy ball inside herself, she would use her force of will to reinforce her muscles and bones and increase her physical strength. Jane wished she had known how to do it when she had taken on that ogre when they first arrived in Undrehiel. After that they dropped her into an obstacle course type scenario where she had to work her way through. They also worked with her in fighting against many opponents. Apparently she would be facing that a little during the obstacle course. Lord Fenrir privately worked with Jane on how to shift without having to get totally naked. If she was wearing all natural fibers and no additional metal besides her wedding ring and royal band she could use her magic while she shifted to hold her clothing in flux while she was in animal form. He also gave her a crash course on how to fight as a wolf and how to fight in her wolfwoman form. She could fight hand to hand with her claws and teeth in this form as well as with weapons.

“I didn’t think there was any shifting in this competition because there were no events strictly for Lycans.”

“There’s not, but I feel that you may need these skills soon and you could use at least a little training before you went into a fight in those forms. Mostly go with your instincts and work with your wolf and you will be alright.”

“Now since you have shifted here so much you will not have to worry about shifting when you wake to take care of any remaining injuries or soreness. You will appear at the competition field as fresh as you did the previous morning. Again I congratulate you on doing so well on your first tests as a warrior and I wish you luck on you next ones. I know you will do well. You are waking up now so I will say my goodbyes. We will all be watching, so do us proud.”

“I’ll do my best.” Jane came back to her body and smiled down at the smaller woman who was wrapped around her like a boa constrictor. She was going to have to start calling her wife ginger since the hair on her head was starting to match the ginger patch that grew in her mate’s most intimate area.

It took some doing, but she managed to slip out of bed without waking her wife. Jane freshened up in the bathroom before putting on a pair of shorts and a compression top and performed her morning warm-up routine like she did the day before.

Maura’s eyes peaked over her wife’s pillow she was now hugging instead of her sexy wife. She lay still and simply watched the beauty that was her wife in graceful motion. Jane slid through her routine like water flowing over rocks, it was a nimble, powerful, and elegant dance of skill and concentration. She could watch her love move like that all day and never get tired of it.

Maura had not seen her wife since passing out in the tub the night before. She had went directly to the library when she was drawn to the heavenly realm to train. She learned even more of the healing arts and had asked Lady Vivienne what exactly it was that Jane had done to her the night before to send her spiraling into orgasmic oblivion. The Goddess had happily explained and even taught her how she too could hold energy within like Jane did, though maybe not as much. The Goddess told her it would be a useful skill to have when she had a lot of healing to do and that she should practice it just as Jane did. Maura couldn’t wait for paybacks. It felt wonderful and very intense, but she had been looking forward to rubbing her wife down all over her hot body the night before. She would get to have her fun soon she promised herself.

Coming to a close of her routine Jane sighed out a long breath and smiled as she noticed her four little purple bodyguards had returned and were sitting on the windowsill once more. She opened the window putting down a handful of seeds and berries that she had arranged to always be available in their room since the little birds had come into her life. The four little defenders bowed to her before eating. She stroked the largest bird’s back. He had little black patches just behind his eyes. “I think I will call you Phantom. You come out of nowhere to defend those under your protection. I will think on it and I am sure I will come up with appropriate names for you other three as well.” She gave them each a stroke along their backs before heading to the shower for a nice refreshing rinse.

Maura smiled at her soft hearted warrior. She crawled out of bed giving the birds a stroke as well before following her love into the bathroom to freshen up and begin their day.

After some gentle shower loving that really started the couple’s morning off right they got dressed. Maura was at the vanity adding the finishing touches to the royal blue dress she was wearing that day when a knock sounded at the door.

Jane was already dressed in jeans, shirt, and sneakers with her sword at her side when she answered the door to let Mistress Pineheart and her helper in once again. It did not take them long to set out the hearty breakfast and the pair left with a “Good luck, Laird.”

The ladies quickly ate and left for their tent for Jane to change. Soon they were once again walking down the main fairway toward the tournament field. Whereas the day before people were more cautious and reserved around the couple, now they were receiving many good mornings from those around them and Jane received many well wishes for her day ahead. A few more pictures were taken with the magic imagers.

“I don’t believe it will be long before everyone in Hecation Province knows who we are, especially you Jane.” Maura smiled, waved, and greeted people as they passed.

Jane was doing the same. “Oh I agree, except I think you will be just as popular as me. Images of Angel Snow will be quite popular, I’m sure.”

“You really get off on that nickname the warriors were calling me, don’t you?” The Angel smirked.

“I do, especially because that heavenly Angel they all adore is all mine.” The warrior sent a mental kiss to her wife as they finally made it to the field and a path was made for them as Jane escorted her wife to the box she sat in the day before. The bodyguards stayed the same.

King Raven kissed her wife. “I wish we could spend more time together today, but they need to see you here watching the obstacle course later after we finish the will and physical strength challenges. The warriors yet to compete in the obstacle course can’t watch. The rules state that a warrior must enter the course unfamiliar with what is ahead of them. I will mingle with the people of the fair a while and rest. I’ll also leave more guards with you as our warriors complete the course.” Jane pulled back fractionally looking into her loves eyes. “I love you and will miss you.”

“I will miss you as well, but I’m glad you will have the extra time to rest between the strength events and your turn in the course. I may be needed to assist the healers. I heard that the obstacle course produces more injuries than any other event. I would like to help if I can.”

“That sounds like a good idea.” They kissed once more.

“I love you too, my warrior. Now go kick some ass.”

The warrior left laughing. It was always so cute when Maura would cuss and depending on the venue, sexy as hell. Jane didn’t let her mind wander down that path, it wasn’t the time. She needed to focus on the day ahead. The King raised her hand in greeting as the crowd cheered her on as she joined her warriors on the field.

For Jane the test of wills was a cake walk and she felt sort of bad for everyone she faced. It was not really a fair completion at all, but she had to prove herself to the crowd and the other warriors. Lines were drawn twelve feet apart and each warrior stood before the line and the one to force their opponent to step backwards over the line behind them was declared the winner. Jane easily swept through all comers and was once again declared the overall winner of the event.

The strength competition was interesting. All the warriors were lined up around the field and each had an odd smooth stone laid across their shoulders with hand holds built into it. It was designed to test the strength of their whole body at once as well as their endurance. It was a last warrior standing sort of event. The stone would magically get heavier and heavier until a warrior dropped to their knees and the stone would instantly become light again.

The stone only weighed about fifty pounds which was nothing for the warriors. It wasn’t until the stone reached five hundred pounds that some of the youngest and oldest of the competition started to get shaky. At six hundred pounds the first of the warriors began to drop.

Jane closed off the announcer who was calling out each increase. She didn’t want to syke herself out by the large numbers. A Lycan wasn’t a human and was much stronger, but she sometimes still thought as if she was still only human. The dark haired warrior closed her eyes and focused on holding the ever increasing weight on her shoulders and on building her will within to strengthen her muscles if needed.

It came down to Jane and a Fae who looked like he had a bit of ogre in him. The crowd watched in awe as the weight increased and the Fae warrior began to shake and grunt. However, the King stayed calm and steady. It was obvious her body was taxed, her muscles were flexed and prominent, but the female warrior had not wavered once. The King stood steady and strong, the epitome of a pillar of strength. Finally with a mighty roar the Fae warrior fell over as his body gave out.

Jane focused back in on the announcer when she felt the stone on her shoulders begin to gradually become lighter. A smile split across her face when she heard she had won. The crowd was cheering wildly for the Laird.

“You were great sweetheart. I am so impressed. It was like it weighed nothing at all to you even when the stone grew to such astounding weights. No wonder you can carry and toss me around so easily. I find your strength seriously hot by the way. I am so calling you when we get back to Boston every time someone blocks my car in by parking poorly or rudely, you can just pick it up and move it easy as you please.”

Jane chuckled. “I am glad you like it so much, because I really like being able to carry you and I will gladly assist you with your parking problems anytime you need me love.” The warrior mentally chuckled while she once again waved to the crowd as they cheered for her.

The warriors began leaving the field so it could be prepared for the final competition of the tournament, which would begin at noon. The Royal couple left the field as they went to enjoy a little over an hour together before Maura had to go back to watch the competition and assist the healers when needed. The couple visited a few different vendors trying the different foods the fair offered and interacting with the citizens a little more.

When the time came for Maura to go back to the competition Jane sent five of their six bodyguards with her since her wife would be moving on the field to help the healers. The King wanted her wife protected while she focused on healing. The warrior did not trust the jackals from the day before and would not put it past them to attempt to get back at her through her wife.

Jane kept General Poledio and her two little purple feathered guards with her. A few of her other warriors hung out with her as well. Jeremy, Emily, and Millie stayed as well to let the children enjoy the fair for a while. Jane enjoyed helping the children at the game booths and watching them on the rides. The King soon had a large group of children going from booth to booth and ride to ride accompanying them. Jeremy and Emily loved having all the other kids to play with.

The King led them all over to an ice cream and bakery shop to buy all the children a treat. The crowd of children grew when word spread that King Raven was buying children treats.

Warren laughed. “You are like the pied piper only with children instead of mice.”

Many of the warriors and adults around heard and laughed.

“I don’t mind. These kids are our future, you teach them kindness maybe they will do the same for others. Plus they are really fun to be around.” Jane’s ears pricked as she heard the thundering of hooves approaching. They were out of place. The area was blocked off to such traffic until after the fair. She heard people shout at the rider and turned to see a large grey and black horse cutting through the fair with a very large rider who was yelling and cursing at everyone in his way and knocking many over in the process.

From the corner of her eye she caught sight of a little red-haired girl of about three begin to dart across the street for the ice cream parlor holding the hand of a red-haired boy who looked like her twin brother. The children were smiling and excited and heedless of the danger baring down on them.

Moving before anyone else could react she darted into the street scooping up the now scared children in one arm as the other swung around grabbing the horses bridle forcing the animals head down while sending a willful push to get the animal to stop. The large man tumbled off his horse at the abrupt halt. Angrily getting back to his feet.

Jane knew the man was jackal and she inwardly groaned when she saw his features. He was most likely a son of the warrior she fought the night before. He favored his sire and was even larger than his father. It seemed none in the family were very worthy individuals.

“You damned twat. What the hell do you think you are doing? Do you have any idea who I am or who my father is? You will regret your interference. I see by your clothes you think yourself a warrior. Well that’s just fine because I challenge you. A no-holds barred fight on the field of battle tonight after the final competition is over as is tradition. The only rule as always is no using our wills against one another. I am sure you saw what a mighty warrior my Alpha jackal father was yesterday. Well let me tell you I am better and the only reason I didn’t compete was because I couldn’t make it in time, but I am here now to cheer my father and little brother on. I am Fredrick, son of Gorum the jackal king.” He stood over Jane as she held and soothed the children. With them in her arms the hostile man was unable to see the Royal band on her arm.

King Raven was pissed, the apple didn’t fall to far from the tree at all in the man’s family. “I accept your challenge. I am Jane Raven and I will meet you on the field of battle. I hope you fight more honorably than your father and brother.” She sent the horse on its way between booths to the road behind the fair where riders were still allowed. “Now you can walk like everyone else on this main street or you can follow your horse and ride down the secondary streets to find your clan.”

“You don’t tell me what to do.” He crowded her, but Jane didn’t back down and laughed a little as the two little redheads in her arms even gave the big man mean looks.

Master Pineheart stepped in. “Fredrick your challenge has been accepted and there is no fighting here outside of direct challenge. If you try to attack this warrior now you will be either confined to your clan tent or escorted from town. The choice is yours. Now walk on down the main street or go follow your horse.” Several warriors now surrounded them.

The jackal noticed and backed away from Jane. “I won’t kill you tonight, but rest assured when I am done, you will wish you were dead.” With that the angry man followed his horse.

Jane laughed. “He is going to be even more upset when he finds out who I am and what happened with his father and brother.”

Master Pineheart smiled. “I agree.”

Bouncing them a bit, Jane looked at the small ones in her arms. “Now why don’t you two assure your parents you are okay and then we can go together to get a treat.”

The children’s parents hugged them and were surprised to find themselves soon sitting with King Raven at a small table as the great warrior held their children on her knees listening as they babbled and ate strawberry ice cream.

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Maura only sat in the Royal box for a few minutes before she moved down to the field to assist the healers when more severely wounded warriors began to be escorted or carried from the course. Throughout the course were obstacles that reminded her of that Ninja warrior show Jane, Frost, Korsak, and Jane’s brothers liked to watch. However, there were also traps in the ground and the trees, bushes, and walls that now were on the field. Magic was pretty cool and it made much of the technology of the human realm seem primitive in comparison. But Maura loved the old world charm of Undrehiel and looked forward to one day seeing more of it.

The healer looked back up at the large canvas and watched as another warrior began the course. A new warrior entered the course once the previous one hit the halfway point or was carried out. The traps got many and some were dangerous, but not totally lethal. Although some warriors landed wrong or moved in such a way that made the results worse than they should be. In some areas arrows with small balls of a sleeping potion on the ends were fired at the warriors. One warrior had drawn his sword to try and defend himself and missed ending up nearly severing his own leg when he fell sleepily to the ground. Nets fell from trees, warriors with weapons challenged the competitors. The competitors had to fight more than one warrior at a time in a few areas during the final half of the course. So far none of the low ranked warriors had made it all the way through the course. The crowd cheered as finally one of the mid ranked warriors completed the obstacle course.

Throughout the day the crowd saw even more of the great healing strength of the young Queen and Maura’s reputation was growing just as that of her warrior wife’s was. The Lady smiled as she heard one warrior telling about Jane having a whole passel of children following her around the fair and how the woman treated them to ice cream. Yet, no one wanted to tell her of the challenge issued or the King’s acceptance. None wanted to upset their Angel of Mercy.

It was just getting dark as the final and highest ranked warriors began the course. The obstacle course was more difficult as the light faded leaving dark shadows throughout even with the lanterns and light globes used. Injuries became more severe. The healers were very grateful for the powerful Royal healer’s help. No lasting injuries had resulted from the competition so far with Queen Snow’s assistance.

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The only exception to the starting of warriors came when the final competitor walked onto the field. The referees had waited until all others had completed the course and the times had been posted on the scoreboard from fastest on down. They also waited until Lady Snow was free to leave the healers area and take her seat back in the Royal box.

King Raven, now the top ranked warrior of the tournament, stepped onto the field with a sword on her hip, two swords crossed on her back, she had daggers and throwing knives in each boot, and a throwing axe on her remaining hip. Jane looked dangerous. Her page walked behind her with her staff and short bow and a quiver full of arrows. The two weapons would be placed in special areas within the course for the warrior to use when she reached them.

The crowd erupted as the King stepped onto the field, but she didn’t wave this time, she was totally focused on the task ahead. She did look at the scoreboard and saw that many of her warriors were in the top twenty spots and that Warren was currently second and the warrior she fought in hand-to-hand the previous day was in first. Jane needed to be faster than them and not gain penalties that added to her time.

The lady warrior stood before the gate to the wild looking course. It looked like a small forest and maze had been dropped onto the field. She waited while runners took off around the course to place her extra weapons in their proper areas. Jane did her boxer bounce and stayed warm as she waited. A hush fell over the crowd as a blue flag was raised and erupted again as it lowered and the King entered the course.

Raven was quick and agile as she climbed, jumped, swung, dodged, and ran through the obstacles. She rolled and jumped out of the way of nets and traps. Her throwing knives hit targets as they appeared, as did her axe. All watched as she fought multiple attackers to advance to further stages of the course and how the Laird avoided sleepy arrows and sent her own arrows dead center of her targets. The dark haired warrior had a few scrapes, bruises, and cuts when she reached the end, but nothing too severe.

Those watching knew it was fast, but when the time was posted at nearly fifteen minutes quicker than the top time for the day and a new record by five minutes, the whole place went wild. King Raven ran a record winning time and also managed to win all of the events. The lady King was proving she was just as strong as the legendary King before her, just as Maura was proving herself as strong a healer as her legendary predecessor.

Maura ran to her wife hugging her tight and kissing her. “I am so proud of you. You have worked so hard and showed such honor during this whole tournament and have come out on top. Congratulations sweetheart.”

“I am proud of you too. I have heard about all of the warriors you have saved from lasting injuries or debilitating ones, Queen Snow, Angel of Mercy.” Jane pulled from the kiss breathless. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

The Master of Ceremonies approached them. “Congratulations King Raven, you have truly been amazing. Queen Snow would you mind assisting me in the presenting of the medals to the top three warriors in each event?”

Bouncing with delight Maura eagerly agreed. “I would love to.” She gave Jane another quick kiss before following the Elf in red up onto the stage to present the awards.

They held Jane on the stage after she received her first medal because it would be silly for her to keep running up and down the stairs. Laird Raven was presented with thirteen gold medals and the large trophy for best warrior of the tournament that is given to the warrior every year with the highest accumulated points from all events. She was also given a specially carved crystal statue only given out when someone won all events. It had been a very long time since anyone had won such a prize. All of the award winning warriors lined up on the stage together as the crowd cheered. Some had won more than one medal, but Jane carried all the gold medals for the tournament. The crowd was loving it as Laird Raven held up her trophy and statue as her chest gleamed with gold.

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A large warrior pushed through those on the field to stand before the awards stage. “Well Jane Raven, now that you are done receiving your awards are you ready to face a true warrior in a real fight. The tournament is over, you accepted my challenge. It is time to see how good you really are.” Fredrick bellowed for all to hear.

Maura clutched her wife’s arm. “What is he talking about Jane?”

Looking into her wife’s worried gaze she told her what had happened and how she came to be in her current situation. “This is something I must do and you must promise me you will stay with our guards. I don’t trust this jackal clan.”

“I will. Now you be careful and kick this awful man’s ass hard. I am really disliking his family.”

Chuckling Jane kissed her wife briefly. “I will do my best and I agree with you completely.”

The King turned to her warriors. “Take care of my wife, his clan might try something.”

With only a sword on her hip and dagger on her belt she jumped off the stage.  The crowd of warriors spread out and formed a circle for them to fight in. The Master of Ceremonies joined them.

“There must be a magic circle placed to keep anyone else from interfering in anyway with this challenge.” The Elf stated. He was raising his arms to do just that when at least ten warriors rushed the circle and at least ten more rushed towards Maura.

Maura drew her rapier pulling Jeremy behind her as her guards surrounded her fighting the attackers. Anyone who got close found out just how well the Queen fought with her weapon. She injured, but did not kill anyone. Her guards took care of that. During the fight Ethan received a major injury when he fought off a magical attack from one jackal of mixed heritage while another stabbed him in the side. Ethan killed the magic wielding jackal, but Max killed the other before he could stab Ethan again.

Down on the battle field the circle went up, but not before Fredrick’s father and younger brother joined him in the circle to face King Raven alone. The spell that formed the circle would stay in place until either Jane or Fredrick lost consciousness. The warriors that helped the jackals were cut down by those warriors on the field who supported the new King. Most admired the female warrior and respected her after the honor and skill she competed with during the tournament and her easy ways among the common folk of Hecation. The jackal king and his sons did not much care what happened to their followers as long as they received their chance to end the new Lycan King before she grew any more powerful or well liked.

On stage Maura took a quick moment to heal Ethan before moving to see what was happening on the field below. There were a few more injured warriors, but the only ones who lost their lives were those assisting the jackal king. No quarter had been given to the honorless warriors. A hand went to her mouth as she saw that Jane stood alone in the middle of the circle trapped there with three very large angry warriors who wanted to kill her. She wanted to call out to her wife, but was afraid to distract her.

As the four warriors within the circle faced one another not yet moving, the field was cleared of the dead and the injured were quickly taken to the healers’ tent. All eyes were on the challenge circle.

Feeling sweat running down her spine Jane’s mind was filled with everything that she had went over with Lord Fenrir. He had been drilling her about fighting more than one warrior at a time and she was very glad of that at the moment. The large jackal, Fredrick, faced her with a huge sword in his hands, his younger brother, Merrick, had a giant war axe, and his father, Gorum, had two swords. They all drew their weapons.

Jane drew her sword and dagger, she had spent the time they had been standing facing each other spindling strength and energy from her core replenishing her tired body as much as possible. At least she wasn’t near as tired as she had been the day before.

“Go for it son. We will stand back for now.” Gorum encouraged his oldest.

Jane and Fredrick faced off. The man was powerful and his sword banged loudly with hers, but she never wavered and did her best to keep from being surrounded by the three jackals. She was caught with only a nick on her arm once with Fredrick’s blade while she was able to quickly dart in and catch him across the back of his hand making him loosen his grip on his sword enough for a short moment to disarm him. However, it was then that his father and little brother joined the fray and she didn’t get the chance to try and knock him out and open the circle. The battle raged on with King Raven bleeding her opponents and disarming them tossing their weapons behind her.

It wasn’t long before Fredrick and Gorum both shifted into jackalman form and Merrick into a full jackal form. Merrick was nearly as large as a Lycan wolf with dark black and grey fur across his back and tan fur on his lower half. His father and older brother stood large and tall their fronts were tan fur and muscled and their backs black. They stood upright with bulging arms ending in large clawed hands both had powerful builds.

“This is now no longer a last warrior left conscious challenge. This is now a death challenge. You will die this day Raven, we do not recognize you as our King.” The large jackalman form of Fredrick growled out. “Do you accept the death challenge the three of us have issued. If you do the spell will change and the only way out of this circle will be for you to kill all three of us or for us to kill you. Do you have the guts to accept a real challenge? Can you still fight when life and death is on the line, not some silly medal or trophy?”

Jane opened herself up to their minds and saw that even Merrick wanted to kill her, she hadn’t been sure about him. She thought maybe he was being forced into things by his family, but no, he was just as awful as his big brother and father. They left her no choice, but to kill them. If she didn’t she would be seen as weak and more challenges would be issued. It was one of the major differences between who she had been and who she currently was. The Alpha within her could not let a challenge like that go, it put her people and supporters in danger if she did. Ending the three would help protect many of her clan. She would still be challenged, but not near as much once she dispatched the three jackals. “I accept the challenge to a fight to the death.” Jane was very glad Maura was not invading her mind, her entire concentration had to be on the fight at hand.

 

Everyone outside the healer’s tent was now focused on the fight taking place in the circle. Gasps and exclamation went around the field when the death challenge was issued and accepted. Many worried that the young King might not come out of the circle alive. They all watched as the three shifted jackals attacked in unison. Laird Raven got a few blows in with her sword before the now much larger creatures tackled her and she was lost from sight beneath the black, grey, and tan jackals. It wasn’t long before the youngest jackal in full form was tossed from the pile to slam against the magical barrier of the circle and the two jackalmen were pushed aside as a large black wolfwoman rose up towering a good head taller than either creature. She had bite and claw marks on her body, but stood as if unaffected amongst her enemies. The crowd roared. It was the first time any, but maybe a few of the extremely ancient, had seen a fully black wolf. The King looked very dangerous and scary, certainly not someone most would want to be trapped in a battle circle with.

The black wolfwoman scooped up her sword just as the trio rushed her again, she loped off the head of the youngest jackal before the father bit into her wrist and she lost her grip on her sword. Her free arm came around slamming into the snout of the oldest son sending him back to trip over his brother’s head to fall to the ground. The King took the opportunity to grab the old jackal around his muzzle and pull his mouth open enough to free her wrist from his jaws. She placed her body behind his with one arm around his neck while the other continued to pull up on his muzzle growling the whole time. The old jackal was scrambling for purchase and managed to press the wolf into the barrier, but Raven never gave in until she heard the loud crack and the jackal howls ceased instantly only to be replaced by those of his remaining son. The remaining jackal slammed into the wolf as she released the dead body sending them both into a fighting tangle across the grass.

The two Lycans fought and rolled over and over in the circle through blood and over bodies until everyone heard the loud pained howl of the last jackal as King Raven’s clawed hand slammed into his thick chest wall. The wolf’s legs came up catapulting the jackal away from her. The black clawed fist made a sucking sound as it was pulled from the powerful chest. The last jackal hit the barrier hard before falling lifeless to the ground. The black wolf stood covered in bites, claw marks, blood, and dirt holding the heart of Frederick in her hand.

Silence fell across the arena until the Lycan King held up the heart and howled loudly in victory. Many howls, growls, and roars followed along with cheering from the non Lycans. The wolfwoman tossed the heart down next to the body before shifting fully into wolf and then back to human in a few short moments. She shifted like that to help close some of the many wounds she had.

Maura had tears running down her face as she approached her wife, the Queen totally ignored all the blood and filth covering her warrior and clung to her mate. The smaller woman had never been as scared in her entire life as when the three jackals had attacked together and Jane disappeared under them. It was even worse than seeing Jane get shot. “You deserve a spanking for scaring me like that.”

“Kinky, I may just like it.” Jane held her shaking wife tight. “I told you I would always do my best to come back to you and I meant it. I honestly didn’t think I would face death challenges so soon, but I did what I had to do.”

“I know Jane and your enemies deserved what they got. I just hate to see you hurt or have to do those things.” Maura pulled back looking over her wife with her healer’s eyes. “You have closed your wounds, but you still have many injuries that need a healers touch and you seriously need a bath.”

Jane chuckled. “So do you after hugging me so close.” She turned to the warriors around her. “I would like to thank all of you who helped to protect my wife and fought to make sure I didn’t face any more than three jackals in that circle. You have done me and my Queen a great service this day.” Her voice was picked up for all to hear since they stood so close to the stage and the crowd cheered for the warriors who fought for the King and Queen.

“Come my King, let me get you back to our suite so I can get you cleaned up and take care of your wounds.” Maura stated as she moved to walk beside her King still clinging to the tall warrior.

The crowd parted bowing as the couple walked by. The Lycan King and Queen had fully returned and soon all in Hecation would know of it and it wouldn’t be too long before the whole of Undrehiel would know as well.

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I hope you all liked this one okay. Thanks to all of you for reading, and more thanks to those of you who have faved, followed, or sent kudos and a special thanks to all of you who have reviewed. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 26

Maura clung tightly to her love all the way back to their bedchamber. The last hour had been a whirlwind of emotions for her. Joy at her mate’s accomplishments. Worry over the challenge that turned to terror when it became a death match against three enemies. Elation when Jane won and sadness for the dark deeds her mate had to perform. Once in the chamber Maura directed her courageous warrior to the bathroom where she worked with deft hands disarming and disrobing said warrior. Everything was placed in a laundry bag as it was removed. No words were spoken during all of the process until the smaller woman turned on the shower and began adjusting the temperature. “I want you to just stand under the spray and let the water rinse you off. I will be in to wash you myself as soon as I have given your things to Jeremy.  He is sure to be waiting outside the door already.”

The dark haired woman nodded and stepped into the large shower.

When the Queen opened the door she did in fact find Jeremy escorted by Ashley waiting in the corridor. The boy placed fist over heart tipping forwards slightly. “Milady, I have come for my King’s gear.”

Smiling Queen Snow handed the bag and weapons over to the boy who had become so dear to her heart. “Thank you Jeremy. You have done a tremendous job taking care of my warrior for me.”

The boy beamed as he took the offering. Ashley handed Maura Jane’s rapier and dagger. “Laird Raven will not want to be without a weapon nearby while her main sword and small blades are being cleaned.”

“That is true. Thank you.” She took the weapons as Mistress Pineheart joined them.

“Your Grace, if you would, I can deliver your dress to one of my laundry girls and they will be able to save that lovely outfit for you. If we get it to her now it will be much easier to clean.”

Maura nodded and quickly ducked back into the room stripping out of the stained gown and donning her robe. She quickly handed the gown to the elder woman thanking her.

“While you bathe I will have food and drink brought up to your room and left on the table. Have a good night Lady Snow.” Mistress Pineheart announced before leaving with the stained gown.

Maura was shortly back in the bathroom joining her love in the shower.

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Meanwhile, Jane found her mind calm after all she had gone through. She had done it. She won the tournament in a sweeping victory proving herself as a warrior. She had then came out victorious in a true challenge to the death by not one, but three enemies. There had been no hesitation within her once she knew without a doubt that they all three wanted her dead, even the youngest of the jaguars. Jane felt absolutely no remorse with what she had done. Her wolf was in total agreement. Jane and her wolf-self had truly bonded as one in a way they never had before as they fought in wolfwoman form. The connection between the two parts of herself was now stronger than it had ever been. Now more than ever before the dark haired woman felt like she truly was the Alpha of all Lycans. Jane had proved it to herself and to others. The worry the situation had caused her mate was the only thing she was sorry for, but the Laird would reassure her wife she was okay.

 

Something very near a purr sounded from Jane as her lovely mate joined her under the warm spray pressing into her back and wrapping loving arms around a bruised body.

The two women simply stood pressed together for long moments absorbing the love and strength of their bonded.

“I am sorry I worried you tonight, baby.” Jane rubbed a hand along the arms around her middle.

“I will get used to seeing you fight true challenges. Though I freely admit that this first one did scare me, especially when it became a death match of three against one.” The shorter woman’s arms tightened around the taller woman. “However, seeing you destroy your enemy and come out victorious was amazing. You are a tremendous warrior, my love.” With a quick kiss on a strong shoulder she stepped back. “Now let’s get you cleaned up so I can go over all of your injuries. The shift stopped the bleeding and eased them, but you need true healing.”

Jane soon found herself squeaky clean wearing her robe eating a large meal with an equally clean Maura sitting across from her putting away her fair share of the food. It seemed all the healing her wife had done that day had made her almost as hungry as Jane.

Once the food was gone Maura shooed Jane back into the bathroom to brush her teeth and prepare for bed. Maura was going to give her woman a massage and heal her at the same time and didn’t want Jane out of bed again until morning.

Just before the warrior closed the bathroom door Maura called to her. “Here!” The smaller woman tossed something to her. “Put that on when you are done.”

The dark haired women smirked. “Yes ma’am.” Closing the door she laid the miniscule harness on the countertop by the sink. As she brushed her teeth her only thought was that she was about to receive the best massage of her life.

After Jane disappeared into the bathroom Maura opened the door and asked Evie to help her set the empty trays in the hall. Evie and Marcus were currently on guard duty outside their door. The General and Zeon stepped out of their rooms and Marcus took the tray that Maura was holding.

“Marcus and I will take these to the kitchen and Zeon and the General can stand guard. Please feel free to sleep in tomorrow. It is the last day of the festival and is one of feasting, socializing, and children’s games. You will both also want the rest since we head out the following day.” Evie stepped back for Marcus to maneuver away from Maura with the other tray.

“That sounds like a wonderful idea. You all have a good night.” Lady Snow smiled at them before closing and locking the door. The soundproofing spell on the room engaged when the door locked.

Jane was finishing up tightening the harness when Maura joined her.

“Let me set this up for you.” The lusty smile on the smaller woman’s face made her warrior instantly wet and aroused. The fullness within Jane instantly absorbed the wetness while Maura ran her fingers over the spell symbols of the harness.

Jane’s Ladykock was set to enlarge with her arousal and was beginning to grow to a nice semi by the time Maura was done.

Maura leaned in kissing her wife. “Now take your sexy self to bed and lay on your stomach in the middle of it.”

Smiling Jane happily did so, but groaned as her semi-aroused ladykock was pressed between her body and the bed. The thing was very sensitive.

She groaned again when her sexy naked wife started at her feet and began working her way up massaging and healing as she went. Some of the injuries stung as they healed, but her love’s magic hands soothed any pain away afterwards. Her mate truly was an Angel.

When Jane turned over her ladykock was a little more relaxed, however it began to instantly grow as her eyes took in the lovely vision of her naked mate as Maura’s magic hands once more went to work. Her ginger woman rubbed her down well, but avoided her kock and breasts. Jane was shaking with need and wetness was shining from the tip of her kock by the time Maura was done healing her. It was taking everything she had not to take control and plunge into her wife. Jane sensed Maura needed to be in charge and reassure herself that Jane was really okay.

Maura sat back and admired her handy work. Her mate was now healed and her massage had garnered the exact results she wanted. Jane’s breasts were full, her nipples stiff and hard, and her ladykock was fully erect with arousal seeping from it. She smiled as her lover whispered “Please.” The smaller woman believed now would be the perfect opportunity to test out her theory that her wife’s breasts were sensitive enough that under the right circumstances she could achieve orgasm from them alone being pleasured.

“Ah, yes! That feels so good.” Jane hissed out as Maura’s hands began caressing her breasts. Her nipples were still left begging however. Maura loved Jane’s breasts with hands and mouth for long moments, yet still avoiding darkened nipples and areolas. The warrior’s hands came up to tangle in her wife’s hair.

“Put your hands back on the bed dear. However, if you must hold on to something grab the headboard. I need you to be all mine tonight.” Maura rose up pulling her lover’s hands from her hair and placing them on the bed above the dark head.

Without losing eye contact Jane stretched out her arms and took ahold of the head board. “Anything for you sweetheart.” Her voice husky.

“Good.” Smiling Maura kissed her mate long and deep before going back to making love to her sensitive breasts, now lifted up in a new angle.

Jane thought she was going to go out of her mind. Her grip firmed on the headboard and her body was ridged with sexual tension. The tension only increased as a soft tongue finally flicked across one aching nipple. “Oh God, Maura.” Was now being repeated over and over from the dark haired woman’s lips as her love gently caressed her aching buds. Her body was on the brink, but wasn’t getting what it needed to fully turn over.

Maura knew how close her lover was. It was amazing she was able to do this to her wife without genital stimulation. She also knew exactly what was needed to take Jane over the edge. Sitting up so she could watch as Jane exploded for her, she firmly took the erect points of her mate’s nipples between fingers and thumb pinching firmly, but not too hard.

“Maura!” The warrior screamed as her body erupted shooting her wetness across her stomach, chest, and her wife’s hands.

Maura loved it and looked forward to doing it again many times in the future. She was also pleased to see that the kock she had set to rise and fall with Jane’s arousal was still fully erect even after the powerful orgasm. “That was sexy, love.”

The dark haired woman opened her eyes in time to see her wife lick her juices from her hands and shuttered. That was fucking hot. The shuddering grew as Maura began cleaning her breasts and stomach with her tongue.

“Christ! You are so hot baby.” Jane’s back arched when her sexy mate took her kock into her hot mouth, but only for a moment.

The now more ginger haired woman rose up straddling her powerful wife rubbing her wet sex along the ridged length of Jane’s kock, both women groaning at the pleasurable sensation. Slowly Maura lowered herself onto the shaft loving the feel of being filled by her wife and the fine tremors running through the body below her.

“So fucking good, so absofucking good, Maura!” Jane wanted so badly to touch Maura, but they both knew if she did she would take control of the lovemaking. Her grip grew even tighter on the headboard.

Once fully seated Maura began to slowly ride her woman building the tension back up in Jane as she fought not to go over herself to soon. But she couldn’t hold it for long and her pace soon increased and she was taking long, fast, and hard strokes onto her wife. Jane’s feet dug into the bed and her hips pistoned up as much as they could meeting her lover with loud slaps as their bodies came together. It was not long until they were both on the brink.

“Jane let your coiled energy go when you come like you did last night only this time not through your hand, but where our bodies are joined. I will do the same.” Maura was way past having the ability to speak coherently aloud.

“Yes, ma’am.”

Less than a minute later they screamed in ecstasy together and released the energy that spooled within and their voices rose together even more until darkness began to claim them both. Jane only seconds after Maura, but with enough thought to catch her wife as she fell down upon her and hold her close as she surrendered to the darkness of pure bliss.

They did not visit the Gods and Goddesses that night. Fenrir and Vivienne thought the couple could use a good night of true rest.

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Jane awoke first smiling when she found her wife still lying across the front of her body. Maura’s legs were now stretched out atop hers and during the night her ladykock had relaxed and slipped from her mate. However, now it was rapidly growing as her hands began to caress the soft warm curves of the woman atop her. Maura had a really great ass and it was very responsive. Maura began to stir as Jane massaged her backside.

Jane eased them over to where Maura was beneath her and whispered in her ear. “Mornin’ babe.”

Arms came up around the Laird pulling her close. “Good morning, love.” Shifting Maura smiled as her wife groaned as she pressed up against her excited kock. “I believe it is about it get even better.”

Jane chuckled and groaned again as her loving wife shifted so the tip of her shaft was resting at the entrance of her baby’s hot body. Not able to fight that blatant invitation the warrior flexed her hips and slowly entered heaven. Their lovemaking was slow and sensual with lots of touching and caressing with both hands and mouths. The couple spent nearly two hours enjoying one another before their stomachs began to protest from lack of food.

“Let’s shower and then go find us something to eat at the festival. There is supposed to be an abundance of it about today and I look forward to trying some more new things as well as enjoying some things I have found that I really like.” King Raven scooped up her Queen carrying her to the bathroom.

“It should be a relaxing and fun day. I believe we will be giving out the ribbons for the contests that have been going on all week for food, crafts, and livestock. I am looking forward to it.” Once her feet touched the floor Maura gave her love a quick kiss before they got down to business.

A whistle escaped the taller woman when Maura stepped out of the bathroom with her hair pulled up off of her face wearing a pretty flowered sundress that hugged her body and thick heeled sandals. She looked fun loving, carefree, and elegant all at the same time. “You look lovely, sweetheart. I look forward to spending the day with you. I learned a trick from Fenrir a few nights ago that I think you will like.” She gave Maura her elegant rapier to put on. Her wife made a face as she delicately hung the weapon from her waist.

“Do I really have to wear this if I am by your side all the time or with our guards? It really doesn’t go with this outfit.”

Laughing Jane reached up placing her hand on the hilt of the rapier and muttered a few words under her breath and the weapon seemed to disappear and only a small mother of pearl button appeared. The taller woman adjusted it so it lay in the middle of one of the flowers on Maura’s hip blending in with the pattern.

“That is amazing. You will have to teach me how to do that. How do I get it to reappear?” Her fingers traced the button.

“Simply lay your fingers on it and think about it reappearing.”

Trying it the smaller woman laughed with glee when it returned and again when it disappeared once more when Jane taught her the spell to hide it. “That will be one handy spell. It is often difficult to find dresses that I can wear my rapier with. Also it will be very handy when we return to the realm of man.”

“Yes it will.” Sliding the one dagger she currently had into the sheath in her boot Jane stood up. She was wearing black pants that hugged her figure and a deep purple vest with black vine like patterns embroidered into it in black thread, her dark mane of hair was left to fall wildly around her shoulders and back. The tall woman guessed she looked alright if the look her mate was giving her was any indication. “I hope my sword and other small blades have been delivered to the guards outside. I much prefer them over my rapier.”

Laird Raven opened the door greeting Zeon and Alexi who stood outside. She was very pleased when she saw her preferred weapons on a hall table nearby. She quickly strapped them in place. “Is everyone ready to head out? I don’t know about you guys but Maura and I are famished. I am thinking maybe making our first stop that little bakery on the edge of this side of the village. Wonderful smells are always coming from there.”

The others laughed as Evie, Marcus, and the General joined them all in the corridor. “We are ready to go anytime you two are.” Zeon assured.

Jane offered her arm to her wife as the General took the lead followed by Evie and Alexi then Jane and Maura with Marcus and Zeon bringing up the rear. Once outside Evie and Alexi moved to walk beside them and their four little feathered companions flew down. Phantom landed on the Generals shoulder, one landed on Evie, Alexi, and Marcus. The couple felt well looked after. None of them trusted those left of the dead jackals’ people

The day was very pleasant, they started out at the bakery and visited many other vendors throughout the day. They watched the children’s events that were now going on at the tournament field. They handed out ribbons to the children for playing in the games as well as some for those who did well in the games. They also gave out ribbons to those who won the food events, the craft events, and the many livestock events. The end of the day culminated in a huge feast and bonfire. The Royal couple spent much time getting to know the people attending the festival. They along with the members of their party had an enjoyable time. The King’s only rule was that none of her party imbibe too much. Everyone was going to need to be at full alert when they left the village the next day. The women got a chance to spend some enjoyable time with Jeremy and Emily as well as the Miller family. The fun relaxing day was exactly what everyone needed before they got back on the road to King’s Place. They had another four or five days in the saddle before they reached their destination.

The couple was pleasantly tired when they reached their rooms that night and spent a few enjoyable hours loving each other before falling asleep in one another’s arms. They spent another peaceful night without visiting the heavenly plain.

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 The following morning once they were dressed and had their breakfast maids arrived to help them pack up their room. The road out of town was lined with people and beings to see their procession off.

Everyone in the Royal caravan was ready to go and in line to head out of town, the only ones not mounted up were Jane and Maura.

The Pinehearts stood with them near their horses. “We thank you for your hospitality and for opening your home for us. Staying in your living tree home was a very original experience for us.” Maura smiled at the elder couple.

“You were both a pleasure to have as guests and we were honored to have you in our home. We hope you stop back by our village again soon.” Mistress Pineheart offered.

“I am sure we will be seeing you again in the not too distant future.” Laird Raven shook hands with Mistress Pineheart and then Master Pineheart.

“You are a great warrior Laird and it was an amazing honor to watch you fight. It is a memory I will treasure and share with my many future grandchildren. We wish you all a safe journey.” The Elder couple stood back as Laird Raven lifted her Lady into her saddle before mounting her own horse.

Jane looked to Maura getting a nod that she was ready and signaled Marcus at the head of the procession that they were ready to head out. They waved to the crowds gathered along the road. It wasn’t long until they were once again in the quiet of the forest with only the murmurings of conversation, and the clip clopping and wickering of the horses standing out among the forest sounds.

“It is nice to be on our way again. I enjoyed the tournament and festival, but I am eager to see our new home.”  Maura sent privately.

“I totally agree. I’m glad I was able to prove myself as a warrior and you were able to do the same as a healer, but I’m ready to settle down for a while even if we are going to be going through lots of lessons and training.” Their private link was certainly a blessing, Jane once more thought.

A few hours later after remounting from a short lunch break Maura chuckled as the two females of the birds called Royals began once again working on twining several strands of her horse’s mane together.

Looking over Jane smiled at the happy look on her wife’s face as she watched the birds, even assisting them sometimes. “You should name them. I named the lead bird and I have been thinking about a name for the other male bird. They seem more drawn to me as those two ladies seem drawn to you.”

“I have been thinking about names for these two.” Maura stroked one’s feathers. “You see how this one has lighter feathers on its back, medium feathers on its belly, and much deeper ones on its wings?”

“Yes.”

“Well it reminds me of some very pretty purple flower arrangements I once saw in Hawaii when I was a teenager. It was one of the very rare vacations I had with my parents. Usually it was with a chaperone or just one of my parents, but that time they were both there. I had them to myself for almost two whole weeks. The housekeeper always had the most beautiful purple arrangements set up in the foyer of the house we were staying in. They were of all different shades of purple, like the feathers of this little lady.” She laughed again as the bird in question hopped up onto her finger like it knew she was talking about it. “I learned that summer that the word for purple in Native Hawaiian is poni. So little one I shall name you Poni.” She kissed the so named bird on it soft head and the bird chirped in acceptance. Poni fluttered off of her Mistress’s finger and back into the mane of the horse.

“That is a nice story and a fitting name for such a pretty lady.”  Poni preened at the Lairds words. “What do you plan to name the other one?”

“Well she is also unique with her deep coloring all over her body and with a few light grey feathers among the dark purple ones on her wings. She also perches on my shoulder when I am healing and seems to send me support and comfort as I work.  Did you know that medieval European warriors used to wear special amulets of protection into battle?”

“No, I didn’t know that.” Not a day went by that the dark haired woman didn’t learn something from her wife.

“The amulets were made of quartz. Amethyst to be precise. The purple quartz was believed to help heal people and to help them keep a level head under pressure, some even believed it could help prevent intoxication when they imbibed too much. I think Amethyst would be a fine name for this dark feathered beauty.” Again the bird in question hopped up onto Lady Snow’s finger. “What do you think of me naming you Amethyst?” She asked the bird. A nod of its little head and several chirps were her enthusiastic happy answer.

“I do believe she likes it, dear.” Laird Raven laughed at the birds antics.

“I think so too. Then Amethyst it is.” Phantom who was Amethyst’s mate flew over to her rubbing his head against hers showing how happy he was that she had been named as well and that he liked her name. “Aww, that is so sweet.”

Jane was startled when the remaining Royal flew up to hover chirping about her head. It seemed he wanted to be named as well.

“Sweetheart, I believe you better give that little warrior a name, too.” Maura laughed at the scene.

“Hey! Calm down. I already have a name for you. I shall call you Zev. It means wolf in Hebrew. You may be a small bird, but you have a fighting spirit and heart as strong as a mighty wolf.”

Zev landed on her pommel preening showing his pleasure in his new name as his mate Poni flew over to join him, loving him as the other two love birds were doing.

“That is a wonderful name, sweetie. How do you know the word for wolf in Hebrew?” Her lady was very intelligent and though Jane didn’t share her knowledge near as often as she herself did, Maura knew her wife was just as smart as she was. It made the stunning woman even more attractive and judging from the blush on her love’s face it was an interesting story.

“Well, when I was twelve I was still a stocky kid and boys weren’t really that interested in me which was starting to worry Ma until one day she found a poem in my book bag that a boy had given me. I didn’t know it was there. She was so happy and was calling him my first admirer. She found a few more poems on other days that he had snuck in my bag and one day he left his name and an invitation to study together. We were both in honors math class together.” Jane sighed not liking sharing the story. “Ma was so happy she made me call him and set up a study date and she did call it a date. You see I was at least a year younger than most everyone in my class and several younger than those in honors math. I was also still taller than many of the boys my age. Well the boy was just the opposite physically. He was a year older than me, but he was a lot shorter than I was and very skinny. He was really small for his age and had huge coke bottle glasses. He was very polite to Ma and she loved him. Even was his name and although I told him I wasn’t really interested in boys yet he still wrote me poems, he also started drawing me pictures. I have to say Even was very talented at drawing. He would always hug me before he left my house after our study sessions. Ma thought it was cute and called him my boyfriend and Frankie and Tommy teased me relentlessly. One picture he gave me I really loved and I hung it up on my wall. It was a beautiful wolf standing out on a cliff looking down upon a village below. It looked so life like. He titled it Zev. I asked him what it meant. Even was also not Catholic, his family was Jewish and his father was very adamant about him learning Hebrew. He is the one who taught me that Zev meant wolf in Hebrew.”

“That is a really cute story and I can picture Angela acting just that way. What ever became of your whirlwind romance with the talented little Even?” Maura gently teased.

“We continued to study together for the rest of the school year which was only a few months. His father got transferred to upstate New York and they moved when school was over. He came to see me before he left and said that he was sad to be leaving such a good friend and that he was going to miss me, but he had my address and phone number and we would keep in touch.” She chuckled at the memory. “We were standing on the walkway in front of my house and he stepped up onto the bottom step of the porch and grabbed my arms. I thought he was going to hug me bye like he always did and he did, but before he let me go he mashed his lips to mine totally catching me by surprise. He stepped back before I got over my shock and said he just had to do that before he left because he might not ever get the chance again. He then ran off down the sidewalk calling over his shoulder that he would miss me and would contact me soon.”

Laughing Maura stretched out her hand to squeeze her wife’s shoulder. “That is a precious story. Did you ever see or hear from him again?”

Taking the hand on her shoulder in hers she kissed it and they rode on for a while holding hands. “I never saw him again in person. We talked on the phone a few times and we wrote each other fairly often. He never failed to send me a birthday or Christmas card and it always had an updated picture of him in it. Ma made sure I did the same with him. We actually still keep in touch over email and Facebook even today.”

“Really? That is so special. Did you ever feel like going and seeing him or maybe have real romantic feeling for him?”

“No, I only ever saw him as a good friend. We shared things with each other that we couldn’t with anyone that lived close to us because it was safer that way. He is now happily married and he and his husband have twins, a boy and a girl that a surrogate carried for them.”

Both women laughed together, talked, and enjoyed the rest of the quiet afternoon as they rode through the sparsely populated landscape.

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Two days later the Royal caravan rode into a lovely valley that looked like a patchwork quilt with the different sections of fruits and vegetable planted across it. A large yellow farmhouse with white trim and several red barns and various white outbuildings sat on the opposite end of the valley near the trees. There were about ten workers tending the crops.

Laird Raven’s senses jangled with signs of trouble similar to when Jeremy and Emily had been in danger. She had already kicked her horse into a full gallop when screams rent the air, all of her warriors followed except for ten who had been ordered to stay and protect the wagons and the people on them.

The workers in the fields also began running towards the farmhouse when the screams began. Jane followed her senses knowing that the trouble was in the house and not the barns. Upon entering the home she saw two small children coming down the stairs with large frightened eyes holding the hand of a teenage girl. Silencing them with a finger to her lips while sending feelings of reassurance she sent two of the General’s men up the stairs to protect the children and to look for anyone else who might be on the upper floor. The pain and danger came from the back of the house. Using hand signals the warriors spread out in groups searching the lower floor as others were outside surrounding the house and checking the barns and out buildings as well. Maura was outside soothing and organizing the workers from the fields as they arrived at the home as well as those who had ran over from the barns.

In the back of the house they found the kitchen with blood sprayed across the walls, ceiling, and floor. A tiger lay on the floor ripped to pieces, an elder woman lay near the table with long gashes covering much of her torso, but was still alive for the moment. A pregnant woman was curled up in a ball under the kitchen table protecting her pregnant belly, she had some gashes on her legs and a few on her back. A man with a sword knelt beside the elder woman, he had blood on his hands and his pants from kneeling down trying to hold the worst of the wounds closed.

The General stepped around Jane. “Move away from the woman! We will not let you finish what you started!”

Laird Raven lashed out with her will directing it at the General alone dragging him back behind her. “Stay and use your brain, look around you with all of your senses before you act. Look around the room. See how clean the man before you is and how clean his sword is. Also note the resemblance between him and the woman on the floor and her total lack of fear of him.” She growled low.

“Maura I need you in the kitchen immediately, bring your medical kit and glove up. I smell a danger in some of the blood in this room.”

“I’m on my way.”

Her focus turned to the kneeling man. “Continue to put pressure on her wounds. Where did their attacker go?”

The man pointed to the large bay window that was completely smashed out. “The creature that did this broke through there and went back out the same way. I saw it as it reached the house from an upstairs window and grabbed my sword and ran down here to try and help, but I didn’t make it in time.” He pointed to the tiger parts. “My Uncle was in the kitchen with the women, but the creature was too fast and strong for him. It grabbed our two oldest girls after it took out my Uncle and attacked my mother and wife. I only got a few quick swipes at one of its heads before it grabbed them and was gone. It disappeared quickly into the woods. You showed up before I could follow it.”

“Do you know what the creature was?”

“No, I have never seen anything like it. It had five monstrous heads on long serpent like necks with a body like a crab and a long tail with a large section of blade like barbs on the end.”

The elder woman on the floor began to whisper as Maura reached the room. She immediately knelt by the woman. “It burns.” The injured woman gasped.

Maura immediately began inspecting her injuries with all of her abilities. She too smelt the danger in some of the blood in the room. “The creature has some kind of acidic poison in its mouth and barbs, maybe even their claws. I will clean it out of her wounds and heal them enough so that a shift should assure her to live and to heal completely in only a few weeks.”

Turning to the others Jane began giving orders. She sent two riders back out to retrieve the rest of their party and others to help the farmers gather the nearby animals up and put them in the barns.  “I want ten warriors guarding the barn and the farmers that will be staying there to take care of the livestock. Put our wagons into another barn out of harm’s way. This creature only eats living flesh. It will eat animals, however it prefers that of humanoid creatures. They are drawn to those with magical gifts over those who have none. I want everyone else in this house. Put the children and others who are not trained with weapons in the parlor we went through. It is in the center of the home and has no windows and will be easier to protect. I want five guards in the house and another ten surrounding it. I will take the remaining twenty warriors along with the stolen girls’ father and we will track the creature. I hope we can save the girls, but I do know we must kill the creature. Everyone gear up. Make sure to bring plenty of long range weapons like bows and crossbows as well as spears. We also need nets to help subdue the creature’s heads and tail.”

“My Laird do you know what the creature is? I have never heard of it before.” A more subdued General Poledio asked.

“It is called a Zunuluth. Someone in the area has been practicing very black magic and allowed this being to slip through from the dark realm. A Zunuluth is drawn to certain areas of the dark realm when they feel someone from another realm performing powerful dark magic. If the spell is strong enough it will very briefly open a portal in which one can slip through. Fortunately, it is very rare that the portal is opened long enough for more than one of the creatures to escape their realm. Unfortunately, for the black magic wielder, the creature usually kills and eats them before they have the time to put up any kind of defense against them.” Jane knew this because Lord Fenrir had slipped the knowledge to her and Maura when the man had described the creature.

“Ethan!” Laird Raven called out to the Magi. “Once everyone is in the barn and house I want you to put up a protective barrier around the barn and the house. I want arrows to be able to be shoot from within the barrier, but nothing to be able to get in, just in case the Zunuluth doubles back on us. You will stay and assist Lady Snow with her healing and be her personal bodyguard.”

“I will protect her with my life, Your Grace.” Ethan put his fist to his heart and bowed as he made his pledge.

Jane nodded before squatting next to Maura. “I don’t know how long this will take. Once you have taken care of these women as much as you can you may want to set up one of the other rooms with minimal windows as an infirmary. If we find others injured or have injuries that we cannot take care of we will send them back here.” She kissed Maura on her temple before she rose. “Take care of yourself, Maur. I will be back as soon as I can and I will do everything in my power to come back to you safe and sound. If that creature comes back I want you to go into the parlor and take the injured who can be moved with you. You can help defend those there.”

Maura glanced up at her mate briefly giving her a slight nod. “I will set everything up.” She wanted to get up and kiss her brave wife, but she had to keep battling the poison in the elder woman’s system. “I love you Jane and you better come back to me or I will never forgive you.”

“I love you too, sweetheart and I will do my absolute best to return to your loving arms.” She mentally sent the kiss that they could not physically share at that moment before turning and leaving the room. Amethyst settled on Maura’s shoulder and Poni on the broken windowsill to help protect the Queen as Jane left the room.

Outside the farmhouse was a hive of activity. The horses of the warriors who were not going were taken to the large barn along with some of the cattle and other farm animals. A few of the horses were being loaded up with supplies that would be needed for the hunt if it took overnight or longer as well as medical supplies.

“Cookie, I want you to assist Maura. There are two injured women inside. Maura is currently working on the one in the worst shape. The other woman may not be as extensively injured, however she is several months pregnant and the creature who did this has poison barbs and her injuries need tending as soon as possible to help draw out the poison before it can get to the baby. Use whatever poultices and healing magic you have that draws out poison and I am sure if your poultices are not strong enough Lady Snow can tell you how to make ones that are. She has a lot of work to do on the elder woman before she can turn to the pregnant one. Please make sure Maura eats, she will need to keep her energy up with the amount of long healing she is going to have to do.” The Laird said after pulling Cookie aside.

“I will take care of Lady Snow and assist her in any way I can, Your Majesty.” At that moment, that was who Cookie was speaking with, not the relaxed Laird Jane, but the commanding King of the Lycans.

“I know you will.” Stepping away from the woman she turned to find Jeremy standing before her with Emily by his side.

“Your Majesty we have a mail shirt and some of your weapons for you to put on. Others are seeing to the loading and preparing of your horse.” The boy held out the shirt made of black chain links of a very tight weave and of an extremely light weight. It was surprisingly easy to put on. Jeremy swung Jane’s double sword rig from his back and helped Jane into it. Emily held the loaded sheaths of daggers, blades, and bolts passing them over for Jeremy to help outfit the King. Next Jane strapped on a throwing axe and a holster with her small crossbow and hunting bolts. Lastly Jane slid on new wrist gauntlets with throwing blades sheathed around them.

“Thank you both for your help. Now go with Millie to the parlor of the house. There are some other children there and they are scared and have lost a few family members. Do what you can to soothe them and ease their fear and take care of yourselves.” Both children bowed to her before quickly hugging her legs and running into the house following Millie and Maddie.

Walking to her horse that was held in place by Warren, Jane mounted up. She had a bundle on the back of her saddle with a bedroll, blanket, and an extra set of clothes. Her saddlebags were full with medical supplies, food, and extra weapons, such as throwing daggers and extra crossbow bolts. Her bow and two quivers of arrows were also attached as was a rope. Between herself and her horse she was well equipped for the hunt. “Warren you are in command answering only to the Queen while we are away. Once everyone is settled in the barn and house use Ethan and get the wards up as soon as possible. If anyone shows up needing help only open a space large enough for them to enter. Do not drop the whole ward and do not let them in until you have tested them for black magic and used a truth spell on them. Ethan is the most powerful Magi here besides Maura and can perform the wards. You can use some of the less powerful Magi or the Elves and Fae to test those seeking aid. Good luck and take care of our Queen.”

“With my life, Your Majesty.” Warren saluted as Ethan had earlier. “Good hunting.”

Turning in her saddle Jane motioned the farmer, now mounted on a strong horse, forward. “You will ride beside me. You know these woods better than any of us. What is your name?”

“Thomas, Your Majesty.” The man could hardly believe he was speaking to the fabled King of the Lycans.

“Laird or Laird Raven will do for now. No need for all the pomp and formalities at this time, Thomas. Two skilled trackers rode out minutes ago to scout for us.” She lifted her arm and silence fell in the yard. “We will head out after the scouts. Keep all your senses open and stay alert. The only way to kill this creature is to pierce the small black patch on its underbelly. And beware its blood is just as acidic as its saliva and the poison from its tails and claws.” She dropped her arm calling “Move out!” and she with Phantom and Zev perched on her saddle along with the hunting party moved off into the forest following the scouts and the Zunuluth’s tracks.

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So let me know what you think.  Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 27

Jane and her party had been riding for about an hour when the scouts came galloping back. One scout was named Harriet, she was one of First Mate Nina’s warriors and Fae. The second was Stuart, he was one of the General’s men and a fox Lycan.

Harriet or Harry, for short spoke first. “Laird Raven, a woodsman’s cottage is just ahead, but there is no movement. There is long dry clothes hanging from a clothesline between trees, but no other signs of anyone. Stu could smell blood on the wind, but we didn’t go any closer in case the creature was held up inside or nearby. The cottage door is smashed off of its hinges, but is resting over the hole.”

“Were there tracks leading away from the cottage or just to it?”

Stuart cleared his throat. “I saw signs that the creature had left the cottage. I think the Zunuluth hit the place before it moved on to the farmhouse. The blood smelled about a day old.”

“That could be. Zunuluth’s like to find a home they can hide in and defend and only go out when they need to eat.” The Laird split the group into four squads each group had five members except one that had six. She led one squad, with Marcus, Zeon, and the General each leading a squad. They surrounded the house with half of the group closing in on the cottage while the others guarded their backs. No movement was seen in the windows, however plenty of blood was. One of the warriors quickly and quietly moved the smashed door away from the whole and Jane and Marcus entered together. The woodsman was Fae and had a human wife. They both lay dead, the majority of their torsos had been eaten. The smell was horrendous. It took all of Jane’s well-earned experience in homicide to not wretch at the site and smells before her. A few of those behind her couldn’t hold it and ran outside the cottage to toss their cookies in the yard.  A large axe was still clutched in the woodsman’s hand. Black acidic blood was on the blade and looked like it had eaten away at the metal some as it had not been cleaned off. What looked like a giant crab leg lay nearby, so the man had injured the evil creature, yet not enough.

Jane’s attention was immediately drawn to the loft when she heard faint whimpering. She sent Phantom and Zev up ahead of her as she began to climb the ladder. They would warn her if danger was in front of her. Once in the loft she found two twin beds with a large wardrobe sitting between them. The door was slightly ajar. Phantom chirped urgently from atop the partially opened door. Moving over with sword in hand Jane slowly opened the wardrobe to find two children inside. The youngest, a boy of about 7, was pressed in one corner staring wide eyed at her while he held his older sister in front of him. The girl looked to be around 12 and she had long cuts up each of her legs. She was alive, but unconscious, her breathing was rapid and shallow.

Sending waves of comfort and safety to the boy Jane spoke in gentle tones. “I am Laird Raven and I’m here to help you. What’s your name?”

Still with big eyes, the child stuttered out. “Walter, but everyone calls me Wally.”

“It’s good meeting you Wally. Do you know how long ago that your sister was hurt?”

“After lunch, yesterday. She pushed me up the ladder first. She was almost at the top when she screamed. That monster was trying to wrap its tail around her. I helped pull her up as Da was going after it with his axe. Ma was already hurt real bad, she distracted it so we could hide. We climbed into the wardrobe and shut the door tight and stayed real quiet for a long time. When dark came Katie snuck down the ladder and put the door over the hole.” Tears started to run down his cheeks. “She came up and got back in here with me. I asked if Da and Ma were gone and she nodded. She said we would go find help when light came. We stayed awake a long time. Until almost morning, but we fell asleep. I woke up a while ago, but Katie she ain’t woken up and she is all sweaty. Help her please!” The boy cried.

“I’ll do my best for her and send you both to a much safer place where they will take good care of you both and help heal your sister. May I lift your sister and lay her on one of the beds?”

He nodded. Jane lifted the girl laying her gently on the bed with pink flowers on the quilt before going over to speak to Marcus and the others below. “Cover them up as best you can. Search through their things for valuables and mementoes. I’ll pack a bag for the children up here. I need the med kit from my saddlebag. We have a young boy who is unharmed physically and his older sister who has sever lacerations on her legs. She is unconscious and unresponsive. I think it’s the poison. I need two of our swiftest riders mounted and ready to ride, also get Silas the earth elemental to prepare two places.” She pointed to the two bodies on the floor, not wanting to say more in front of the young boy. “Take care of that as soon as possible.”

Alexi came hustling in tossing the med kit to Jane following it up once the Laird stepped away.

“Alexi this is Wally and his sister Katie. Wally, Alexi is going to help you pack a few things. She will pack you some clothes in the bags on top of your wardrobe and you gather anything up here that you and your sister will not want to leave behind. I don’t know when you might return.”

“Yes, Laird.” Wally hurried to do as he was told picking up the stuffed puppy off of his bed and gathering a few other things around the room that were his and his sisters. All the while Phantom and Zev perched in the rafters keeping watch over the scene.

While Wally and Alexi packed Jane worked on the girl. The last two nights Fenrir and Vivienne had taken Jane and Maura back to the heavenly realm. Maura spent a little time training with her weapons before disappearing into the library for more healing instruction. Jane spent half the night training and the other learning how to use her own healing ability. Though not near as strong as her wife’s it was still knowledge she needed to know. She carefully cleaned the wounds covering them with the drawing poultices she had adding some of her own magic to them to help draw the poison out faster.  She took some water from the canteen on her belt dissolving some tablets into it that would help fight the fever and infection. Alexi helped her get the liquid down the girl’s throat before assisting her to remove the girl’s bloody clothes and put her in clean ones. After wrapping the wounds leaving the poultices in place she pulled heavy warm socks up the girl’s legs. Then wrapped her tightly in the flowery quilt.

Alexi had already tossed the two bags down to Zeon who passed them out to be strapped to the horses’ saddles along with the small ones they had filled with valuables and mementoes. She was now holding Wally wrapped up in a quilt covered with animals from his bed, the boy was hugging his stuffed puppy tight in his arms.

“Wally you be as still as you can as Alexi hands you down to Zeon. We have two riders who are going to get you and Katie to Thomas Haymaker’s farm as quickly as possible. We will secure your cottage so it will be protected while you are gone.” Jane carried Katie over to the ladder waiting until Alexi handed down Wally before climbing down herself. The Laird was glad to see that the bodies of the children’s parents had already been removed from the house. She carefully handed Katie down to Marcus before grabbing her medical kit and following.

Outside the cottage Alexi was helping to situate Wally onto the lap of Wren, a Fae warrior. Marcus handed Katie up to Alder, an Elf warrior.

Jane pulled a bit of Fairy bread from her pack handing it to Wally. “Here you go little one. This will satisfy the hunger in your belly and Wren has extra water for you when you’re thirsty. My wife Lady Snow will be waiting for you and Katie when you reach the farm. She’s a great healer and will take good care of your sister.” She tucked the blanket up tight once more before stepping away and focusing on the riders. “Ride safely, but quickly. Fresh mounts will be waiting for you to rejoin us. We’ll leave markers for you to follow when we leave here. Stay on alert and if you see the creature don’t engage. You will evade and escape.”

“Yes, Laird.” Came from both mounted warriors.

She nodded. “Good luck and safe journey.” With that the riders were off with their precious cargo.

Turning to those around her she began giving orders for a magical clean-up of the blood left over in the home and in the small barn. The Zunuluth had killed and eaten the one horse and milk cow that had been in the barn and from the few feathers left ate whatever chickens there were whole. “Affix the doors on the barn and the one on the house as best you can and we will set protections to help keep the place safe for the children until it is decided what will happen with them and this property.” She turned to Silas. “Where did you bury the parents?”

Everyone got to work as the Laird spoke with Silas. “In the grove there.” He pointed off behind the cottage. “There is a family plot. Headstones had already been placed there for the parents. We buried them and Jaden used her Elf magic to carve the date of their death into the stones.”

“Thank you Silas. You did well. Speak with Marcus and gather five warriors and get the horses ready to go we need to be on our way as soon as everything is taken care of here.”

“Yes, Laird.”

Once he walked away Jane turned walking into the grove stopping at the foot of the fresh graves. Her small purple protectors sat on branches nearby. “I’m sorry you had to leave your children when they were so young. You fought and sacrificed and saved them both. I will make sure they are taken care of. You should be proud of the brave children you raised. May the heavens bless and keep you.”

Moving to the edge of the grove she contacted Maura while she watched the activity around the dwelling. “Maura.”

“Jane are you alright?”

“Yes. We came upon a woodsman’s cottage. The creature attacked it yesterday.” She went on to explain all that had happened and what they had found. “The riders should be to you within the hour. They need fresh horses ready and I need more supplies for the drawing poultices. I used several on the girl’s legs. I hope we find more survivors and if we do, we will probably need more medicine.  The poison had set in pretty heavily, but I hope that Katie is in better shape when she reaches you.”

“I’ll see that fresh mounts and additional medical supplies are ready. The riders gear will be transferred quickly and they will be back on their way to you as soon as possible. I love you sweetheart. Stay safe.”

“I love you too, my Queen. Make sure you rest and eat well between your healing sessions. You need to take care of yourself too.”

“I will love. I promise.”

“I better be off we are about ready to leave. I will chat with you again soon. Let me know if anything of import happens at the farm.”

“I will and take care.” The couple shared warm and loving feelings before ending the connection.

Holding out her arm Jane called the birds to her. She stroked each one along its back once they landed. “I want you two to scout ahead for us. I think it is too dangerous to send out two riders ahead. The two of you can much more easily escape our prey than the riders can and you can also hide better if need be. Follow the trail as best you can and also fly above the forest and see if you can see any other places the Zunuluth may have attacked. We may find more survivors. Now go and be safe.”

The birds chirped their agreement and quickly disappeared into the forest.

Soon after the rest of the hunting party led by Laird Raven disappeared into the forest. Throughout the day they came across signs of the creature. Some were lone riders who had been caught out on their own or in small groups in the woods. They came upon the home of a troll family dwelling in a hill cave. Two large male trolls were dead and three smaller males injured. The women, children, and elderly had escaped to an underground cellar. Jane and her people did what they could to aid in the healing of the injured and helped load them up in wagons sending them to the farm for safety. The birds had flown high and reported with special chirps that the way back to the farm was safe and clear of the creature.

It was then that Jane really paid attention when Zeon pulled out the oddly framed mirror and began fiddling with it, like he had weeks before when she had rescued Jeremy and Emily. “Zeon what is up with the mirror? I’ve seen you mess with it a few times and have seen others do the same. I had meant to ask sooner, but never found the time.”

“Laird this is a communication mirror. Some have small ones like this one that they take with them and there is usually at least one large one in every home or dwelling. They can do many of the things that televisions, phones, and computers can do in the human world. Though no technology is involved. It is all done with magic. I was wondering when you would ask. You probably would have sooner, but since you didn’t have anyone you needed to contact it wasn’t really a priority for you and when you did need messages delivered one of us did so for you as ordered. The only one you need to contact is Maura and if the legends are true, the two of you have an unbreakable mental link and don’t need COM mirrors.”

“Then if you have these wonderful COM mirrors in just about every home in the area why haven’t you sent out a warning about the creature and used them to find out where the creature may have already attacked and let them know that if they have any who are severely injured that they can go to Haymaker’s farm for help. You could also find out if there are any other healers in the area who could lend assistance. If this creature has attacked near any villages or large settlements we may not be the only warriors looking for it and they may not know how to kill it. We could share that information with them.”

Zeon looked embarrassed that he had not thought of such a simple thing as did the other warriors in the group. They were all familiar with the COM mirrors. “I’ll get to work on that right away Laird. Since all here in Hecation know who you are now, they will listen well to our warning and want to help. They’ll be eager to help the great warrior they watched fight in the Elfwood tournament over the large COM mirrors in their homes.”

‘That tournament was televised!’ Jane thought. ‘Great, just great. I am kind of glad no one told me. I would have been even more nervous.’ She left him to get to work on the alerts while they all mounted up and rode on.

Just before dark they came upon a moss and vine covered home almost hidden in the deep woods. Phantom and Zev had led them there. Everyone who was sensitive to magic could feel the wrongness and evil emanating from the place. Jane led a squad of magic users to surround and enter the house. Three mostly cleaned skeletons were found with the ripped up remains of black cloaks hanging off of them. None of the three skeletons was intact.  No one else was found in the house or on the property. “These were the ones who allowed the Zunuluth to enter the realm. I want nothing taken from here.” The Laird turned to two of her warriors both with an affinity with fire. “I want this place and everything in it incinerated down to ash and I mean everything. We will put up a protective barrier so the blaze will not affect the surrounding forest.”

Jane sent her birds to find a safe place for her warriors to camp for the night while the rest of her party took care of the complete destruction of such an evil place.

It was near dark when they reached a small clearing up against a cliff with a waterfall gushing from the rocks about halfway up the cliff face with a pool at the bottom leading off into a stream. It was a nice spot to set up camp and they would have the cliff at their back.

Everyone worked together setting up camp except for Laird Raven. She tried, but it still made them uncomfortable so she stayed mounted and rode sentry around the camp getting familiar with the area and making note of the best spots to post the guards for the night. While on her patrol with Evie by her side, along with her birds, she took five large rabbits with her bow in rapid succession as they scurried from their hidey holes. The cook fire was the first thing started and a couple of her group who were handy at such things had said they had the fixings for a nice vegetable stew between what the pack horses carried and a few wild vegetables they had gathered when they had stopped throughout the day. Much grumbling had been heard from the others because they didn’t have enough time to hunt for game to make it a hearty meat stew.

As Jane tied the last of her hunt to her saddle she reflected on how much she had changed and learned since taking that chance and letting Maura know how she really felt. It felt like a lifetime ago, but only a moment ago at the same time. They had come a long way in a very short time and had grown in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. The thought of hunting game with a gun much less a bow had never crossed Jane’s mind before, but now in a new and wondrous world it was natural to her and a way that she could take care of her warriors even if she wasn’t able to put up tents or dig out latrine areas.

The troops were very happy when their Laird returned with the plump rabbits and two of them wasted no time in preparing them for the cook pots. It was well into the night when everyone, but those on sentry, settled down with bowls of stew and a flat dense bread that had been mixed up and fried over the fire. The water from the falls was cold and quenching as they drank it with their meal. The talk turned to reports of what Zeon had found out from his mirror while they ate.

“Laird it seems that the Zunuluth has hit many area farms and villages. At first the attacks were vicious where everyone in the home was killed and eaten, but now they have changed. The creature attacks and eats, but has been leaving some victims alive and taking them. This change has made it where more people have had time to escape because the Zunuluth didn’t instantly try to kill everyone in the area. There are a few more places that have been set-up to aid the survivors, and warriors and those with magical gifts have put protections in place much as you had done on the farm. Through the mirror system those places along with the Haymaker’s farm were broadcast to let others know where healers and protection could be found if needed.”

The alerts had already saved several families who had retreated into their homes and put up magical barriers and armed themselves. There were also other groups of Hecation warriors who were assigned to or lived in area villages out hunting the violent creature. Zeon also reported that he had spoken with Warren before dinner and more injured and scared had shown up on the farm and the house was now full and that the protections had been expanded to cover all of the barns and the bunk house. More people with knowledge of healing had shown up to assist Lady Snow and everyone was doing well and so far they had been able to save everyone who had shown up injured. Zeon smiled when he said that Warren reported that their Queen was quite the little general and had made sure everything was running well in the infirmary and that everyone had a place to sleep and food to eat.

Jane smiled, she knew her wife and never doubted for a moment Maura would have the situation well in hand. Thinking of her made Jane miss her mate all the more. This was the longest they had been apart since Jane’s birthday. Her thoughts were drawn back to the conversation when with the help of Thomas Haymaker a map was roughly sketched out of the immediate areas. The General had an overall map of Hecation, but not one that was detailed of the smaller places. Between the two maps they were able to see where the monster had hit and where other patrols were searching. Using Zeon’s mirror the General contacted the commander of the other patrols and with Laird Raven listening in and giving her opinion they all coordinated their efforts for the next day. While all this was happening the sentries were relieved so they too could eat. There were no leftovers. Everyone ate well that night. The cooks were helped in the clean-up of the cook pot and the mess kits of the King and the other leaders while they were discussing what was to be done the next day. The meeting was breaking up when Marcus asked one of the Elves if they could put a magical barrier around the camp. The Fae who had performed the spell many times that day was too drained to do so again until they had a good night’s sleep.

“I know the spell, but I am only powerful enough to put it over my own tent. I could maybe cast it over a few more tents, but that is all.” Another female warrior regretfully replied.

Hearing this Jane stepped in. “If you know the spell I can boost your power enough to cover the whole camp and we won’t have to post so many guards.” So saying the spell was performed and in the doing Jane had also learned how to perform it.

The tents were interesting. When she had seen her bedroll on the back of her horse earlier that day she had briefly wondered what the slim wooden rods were that seemed to cover the whole outside of the bedroll running across the width of it. She had assumed it was some sort of mat to protect it from the ground. Instead when it was unrolled some of the rods formed legs to keep the bedroll or should she say cot about a foot off of the ground while others formed over the top of the cot with a thin layer of fabric covering them. It was a bed and tent all in one. The tent was very long, but not overly wide. It was maybe three feet across and eight in length. Looking around at her companions she could see why it would need to be so long. Some of them were several inches taller than her own now considerable height of six and a half feet. Tossing up the flap on one side she saw her extra set of clothes hung by her pillow on one end of the cot tent and found a place to put her weapons and boots at the foot of the cot tent. She found it interesting that no insects tried to fly into the tent with the flap open, but could feel the magic in the whole creation. It really was a neat contraption and a spell to keep out insects was a good addition to the whole. Her saddle and saddle bags sat beside the tent and she retrieved what she needed to clean-up and headed for the area of the pool that the women claimed for themselves. Evie, Alexi, and a few other females were already there. She had become more comfortable with nudity in the past weeks and she quickly joined them in the area of the pool under the falls to wash. The water was cold so no one lingered, but it was an experience she would love to have privately shared with Maura. All of the women put on clean shirts, underclothes, and socks before slipping on their boots, but left off their pants. They all made their way back to their tents to get as much rest for the night as they could. The next day they would most likely come face to face with the Zunuluth.

Jane had washed out her dirty clothes as best she could in the falls like the other women and hung them on a line attached to her tent to dry for the night. It would be good to have them clean if they had to stay another night out on the hunt. She sat on her cot and put her boots, weapons, and mail shirt in the extra room at the end of her tent. Zev and Phantom quickly flew in to perch among her gear at the end of the bed before Jane pulled the flap down marveling at how it sealed itself like there were magnets or something connecting it around the opening. She did untie the two little windows on either side of the tent to let some fresh air flow through before snuggling down into the surprisingly comfortable bed. As tired as she was Jane still knew she would have a difficult time falling asleep without her love by her side. Getting comfortable and closing her eyes she opened her mind and called out to her mate. “Maura.”

 

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Earlier that same day…

Maura watched her powerful wife leave the kitchen wishing she could have gone with her, but Jane needed to hunt. Healing was Lady Snow’s job. Dropping her gaze back to the woman in so much pain before her she concentrated on stemming the blood flow on the worst of the wounds and stopping the poison from entering any further into the woman’s system.

“Ethan, get a couple of men to take care of that.” Tilting her head to indicate the ripped up body of the tiger. “I need you to also see if you can get the woman out from under the table. She is probably in shock. Try and keep her as calm as possible.”

Two warriors quickly had the body wrapped in sheets and removed it out the backdoor off the kitchen and out of the house while Ethan was attempting to calm the woman under the table.

Moments later Cookie sailed into the kitchen with her daughter Maddie behind her. “Lady Snow I will help with the pregnant woman. Where do you want to take her?”

“We should set up an infirmary in the dining room. Maddie find some of the people who are familiar with this household and they can help you set up cots and bedding and things in there and have any furniture that needs removing moved to some other part of the house. Ethan let Cookie take over with the woman and you go out and get some people to take care of boarding up the window and cleaning up this room.”

Everyone hopped to their Queen’s bidding. It wasn’t long before they all heard King Raven’s voice outside loudly command “Move out!”

Maura silently wished her mate good luck and a safe hunt. By the time she got the elder woman’s wounds stable enough that she could be moved the dining room had several cots made up in it and the laundry room off the kitchen had been turned into a treatment room. The kitchen was also well on its way to being clean and the window was now mostly boarded up. Maura took a moment to survey the newly arranged treatment room that had two long narrow tables set-up to place patients on to heal them. The two injured women were quickly taken to the treatment room where Maura had Cookie begin putting a powerful drawing salve on the elder female while she turned her attention to the pregnant woman. Luckily the poison had not made it to her babe yet and the salve that Cookie had put on her injuries earlier was doing its job well. Maura used her own gift to push more of the poison from the woman’s system and speed up the healing process. She also sent calming energy through the woman and her baby to help reduce the stress of the situation, it sent her patient into a deep healing sleep that was much needed.

Once both women were out of further danger from the poison and their wounds well on their way to healing without further magical assistance the women were taken to beds in the dining room to sleep and the younger woman’s children were sitting between their healing mother and grandmother. Cary was the pregnant woman’s name and her mother-in-law was Edna. The children were very happy their mother, grandmother, and the unborn baby were going to be okay, though they worried about the rest of their family. Everyone did their best to comfort the children.

Maura sighed as she sat tiredly down in a comfortable chair in the living room, it had already been a long day and didn’t look like it would be ending anytime soon. A plate with a sandwich and vegetables appeared in front of her.

“Laird Raven said to make sure you rest and eat. She said healing takes it out of you and you sometimes got caught up in what you were doing and would forget to eat. We all believe that your healing gifts are going to be needed much more before this is all over, so you really need to take care of yourself milady.” Millie had spent more time with Lady Snow recently and had a genuine caring and affection for the caring Queen.

“Thank you Millie for looking after me so well. You have become a dear friend.” The plate had barely settled in her lap before her stomach let out a loud growl. “Well, by the sound of that I may need more than one sandwich.” She grinned and began to eat.

The empty plate and glass had just been taken away when Maura got news from Jane on the children that were on their way to her. She felt saddened for the children who had lost their parents and had a feeling Jane and her hunting party would find many more victims before they ran their prey to ground.

Maura searched out Warren and told him what was coming and what Jane requested.

“I will take care of it right away, Lady Snow.” Warren was off giving orders to people in the stables for supplies and fresh horses.

At a rumbling sound coming from the road between the fields Maura turned curious to see what was coming since anyone Jane sent would be coming from the woods at the rear of the house. What she saw was a wagon driven by a large woman with two boys clinging to the seat on either side of her and the rear of the wagon loaded with even more people. Stepping up onto the porch she watched as the wagon came to a halt in front of the house and the two boys jumped from the seat to run and take the horses’ heads to calm and hold them in place. The large woman agilely jumped from the box and stopped short at the barrier around the house where guards had crossbows aimed at her.

“I am Gretchen Carver. My family was attacked last night by a large five headed monster. Two of our men folk were killed and we also have men, women, and children who are injured. We all huddled inside our home last night with a barrier up like yours and I did my best for the injured, but they aren’t getting any better. I know that Mistress Edna has some healing knowledge and we sorely need it. Please we can’t lose any more family.”

The guards questioned the woman and also brought some of the locals from the barn to vouch for her. Maura could read from the woman that she was no threat nor was anyone with her, but that had to remain a secret so she let the guards do their job. However, once they had established that the woman wasn’t a danger she did step in, because she could since how critical a few of those in the back of the wagon were.

She called out to Ethan who was standing on the porch with her. “Get the stretcher you guys made from the house. I can feel that some of these people are very badly injured. Tell Cookie to get plenty of water boiling we are going to need it for sanitizing and making up more medicines.” She ran down the steps collecting four strong backs along with way. “Come on, let’s help Mrs. Carver get her people into the house.”

People hopped to do her bidding. The day progressed in that same vein. Beings were showing up on their own or sent by Jane. After the alert went out that afternoon on the interesting communication mirrors more beings showed up for help or simply for protection. With Maura’s help boosting Ethan’s considerable power they worked together to expand the protective barrier to cover all of the building of the farming complex and a few of the paddocks as well. The house and bunkhouse were filling up and the large space between the house and barns had tents set up for the larger beings and the overflow that couldn’t be housed inside. Some were even staying in the barns and they put the animals out in protected paddocks. She was also glad that a few more beings showed up with healing knowledge as well as some healing gifts, it made it where she could focus on the more severely injured first. So far they had not lost anyone who had shown up and she hoped it stayed that way.

She was exhausted and barely stayed awake long enough to eat the food Cookie pressed on her and to wash up. Room was to sparse for her to have much privacy, but a curtain was hung around her sleeping cot in the drawing room so she could change and sleep with at least a little privacy. As tired as she was her cot felt very comfortable, but sleep didn’t claim her immediately, she was missing her loving warrior. Snuggling down in her bedding she prepared to mentally call out to her love when “Maura.” Flashed through her mind making her smile. Her wife was missing her too.

“I’m here Jane. You sound as tired as I feel. Was the rest of your day as rough as the earlier part?”

“Yeah, I saw some pretty gruesome things today. We did find the ones who let the creature loose in this realm. There were three of them and they were the Zunuluth’s first victims. We destroyed the place down to ashes. Completely incinerated it down to fine ash deep into the earth and sent the ashes blowing in the wind. We had to clean the dark magic from the area.”

“I’m glad you guys were able to find the place and destroy it. We’ve had a lot more people show up throughout the day, but the arrivals have slowed down since night set in. I still can’t believe no one told us about the mirrors before now. Did you know we were broadcast out to all of Hecation at that tournament? No wonder people know who we are when they see us. I thought it would take a while before pictures of us got around, but not if we were shown live like on television.”

“Are you eating enough and resting? I know healing is your calling, but you have to keep your strength up or you will be the one needing healing, baby.”

“I am taking care of myself, Jane. And if I do get caught up Cookie and her daughters make sure to remind me. I hear I have you to thank for that.”

“I had to make sure you were taken care of Maura. You are my life. Your welfare is mine to see to as much as I can.” The dark haired woman sent a mental hug and kiss to her lovely wife. “You know I have been thinking about the mirror thing and I bet Those on High had something to do with us not finding out about such a major thing as those mirrors until now. They know we would have freaked if we had known our first public appearances were being broadcast across the province. I am glad I didn’t know when I was competing and fighting. I was already nervous enough.” Jane’s mental voice was starting to slur as her body was relaxing fully now that she was at least with her wife in mind if not in body.

“Your welfare is mine to see to as well and I had a few words with Alexi and Evie before I entered the house this morning. They are going to be looking out for you too. I also agree with you about the mirrors being hidden from us till now.” Maura’s voice too was slurring. “We are both about to drift off darling. Keep your mind open to me as we fall asleep. It is almost like being cuddled up with you and I will sleep better as well. Our minds will naturally close off when we go into a deep sleep, but until then we can be connected.”

“Sounds like an excellent idea. I love you, Maura and I miss you. Sleep well, baby.”

“I miss you too and love you outrageously. You sleep well too sweetheart.”

Those were the last thoughts they shared before they mentally cuddled up together and fell into the sleep of the exhausted.

 

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Well another chapter down.  Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you. Until next time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 28

Screams of pain and pleas for help woke Jane from a deep sleep in the early hours of the morning before the sun had started to lighten the sky. She bolted upright flinging her tent flap up and quickly pulling on her pants and boots. She was at first surprised when she realized no one else was responding to the screams, it took a moment for her to process the fact that she was the only one hearing them. Somewhere nearby Lycans were in trouble and she could hear it in her mind like she had the day before.

“Everyone up!” The Laird ordered. “The Zunuluth is on the move. It is attacking nearby or has taken more victims and traveling nearby.”

Warriors began spilling out of tents getting dressed and outfitted in armor and weapons as Jane herself was doing. “Don’t worry about the camp, we will keep the barrier up and can come back later for our things.” She turned to the five warriors on sentry duty. “Start getting the horses saddles up.” Her focus shifted to five other warriors. “You help them and follow the rest of us with the horses. Thomas you help them as well.” Her mail shirt was soon on and her weapons were quickly strapped into place. The hunter was ready to follow the monster on foot. Jane retrieved her bow and one quiver full of arrows from her saddle.

“Marcus, Evie, Zeon, Alexi, Poledio I want you and the people I didn’t order to gather the horses to come with me now. Nina I am leaving you in charge of the group with the horses. Does anyone else here have a COM mirror besides Zeon?”

“I have one.” Nina reached into her saddle bag and produced a mirror.

“Keep it on you. We may need you to circle around to another position or something. We need to be able to communicate.” The distress in her mind increased. “I have to go now. Zev, Phantom scout ahead. The rest of you stay quiet and keep up as well as you can. We need to hurry before it gets too far away for me to feel the Lycans that are in trouble.” The King Alpha took off through the woods with her birds flying above the trees ahead of her and her pack behind.

Jane followed the call, but also began to pick up scents of blood and began to slow down. Stumbling into the Zunuluth would not be a good idea. They came upon the back of a small home with a well-kept garden and a small barn. Near the front of the barn they could see the remains of a horse and a dairy cow. Lying near the side of the home was an elder man who was wounded and bleeding, but not dead. An older woman was near him and lifted up a crossbow when they entered the yard.

“Put down the weapon.” Jane’s Alpha force rolled out from her as she approached the couple. They were both fox, but the woman was Omega and could perform some magic and was a healer. “We mean you no harm. We are hunting the creature who did this. If you open your shield a little I will have two of my men stay to help you while we continue to follow the Zunuluth.”

The woman’s eyes got large when she saw exactly who was coming out of the forest and instantly dropped the crossbow and opened a place for two warriors to enter. “Laird the monster took my daughter and granddaughter. They only slipped out of the protections for a short time to gather milk and eggs for us to eat. My husband was standing guard, but it seemed to come out of nowhere it was so fast. It went for the livestock first attacking them ravenously. My husband stepped outside the protections to cover our girls retreat and barely made it back in alive. That thing snatched up Rebecca and Gillian and took off that way once my husband was out of reach.” The woman pointed.

“I will leave those two warriors here with you until others come with their horses. You are a healer yes?”

“Yes, Laird.”

“His wounds aren’t too bad, but the creature excretes poison into its victims and that is what is affecting him so badly. You need to put poultices or salve to draw it out on him. If you can, add your own power to them to aid in drawing it out more quickly. We will do our best to get your girls back, but we must go now.”

“Thank you, Laird.” She called to the retreating back of the powerful Lycan King, still unable to believe that was who had come to their rescue.

“Zeon contact Nina and tell her about the two people we left at the home.  Once the woman gets her husband into the house she shouldn’t need two warriors to help her. I want one warrior and his mount left there with the mount within the barrier.  Everyone else needs to continue following us.”

On the run Zeon relayed the message.

“Come on we need to pick up the pace, this thing is speeding up, the cries are getting more faint.” The Laird put on a burst of speed that the others had a hard time keeping up with so the Alpha made sure to leave plenty of physical signs of her passing in case she lost her party. The call was getting stronger again and more voices could be heard, Jane slowed as the woods thinned out. Her two purple birds came zipping back to her, Phantom landed on her arm and put his forehead and beak to her Royal armband. He had never done that before. The Laird stumbled as warped images came into her mind, it took a second for her to understand that she was seeing what Phantom had seen. The Zunuluth’s lair was ahead. It had a makeshift pen with several beings trapped inside and there was a dark cave nearby. She felt dizzy for a moment when the bird stopped sending her the distorted images.

“Wow. I didn’t know you could do that. That was really cool and that could come in handy, a lot. Can all four of you do that?”

Phantom nodded his head with a chirp answering in the affirmative.

“Good to know.” She held up her closed fist for silence as her team came up behind her. “The Zunuluth’s lair is ahead. It has its victims penned up and I think they are all alive. Zeon contact Nina and the other hunting parties and let them know where we are. The creature is in a cave where two cliff faces meet. We might be able to trap the creature if we close off the end the area between the cliffs. We will also need to get the victims to safety if we can before we take on the creature.”

Taking a moment to think she smiled. “The Elves and Fae among us are the best climbers. Nina and the rest of our party should be here any moment with the horses. I want a squad of six or seven of our strongest climbers to head up the cliff face on this end out of the sight and run along the top and drop a rope into the pen so the captives can climb up. A few of our people will have to climb down into the pen to calm them and to help any who can’t climb themselves. If we have enough take a sufficient amount of rope to drop three lines down the cliff. We need those captives out as soon as possible. I don’t know how long the creature will stay hold up in its cave.”

Shortly the rest of the party arrived while Zeon spoke to the other hunter parties three of which were nearby. Since more help was on the way ten instead of six of their best and strongest climbers were sent to help in the escape.

What Jane and her people didn’t know was that in one of the other hunting parties was a paper and mirror reporter that had tagged along to cover the story. He was very happy when he heard that one of the groups had found the creature and even more ecstatic when he found out it was King Raven’s party. The reporter made sure he had his magic imager and his special sending mirror ready to report the action live. It seemed reporters weren’t much different no matter what realm one was were in.

Soon everyone was in their places surrounding the end of the cliffs. The monster would have to go through them to escape, Jane and a squad of ten were sneaking along the base of the cliff to attempt to get behind the creature when it emerged from the cave and not give it a place to retreat to and defend. The captives were slowly making their way up the side of the cliff on the ropes. Some climbing by themselves while others were being assisted by those who could climb and some being carried by the warriors. The last of the captives and their rescuers had just slipped over the cliff top and the rope was being rapidly pulled up when the Zunuluth began to emerge from the cave.

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Ethan came rushing to Maura who was visiting with patients recovering in the beds in the dining room. “Lady Snow they have found the lair and a reporter is sending it out live over the mirrors.”

Maura was ushered to a front and center seat in the main room of the house with many people crowding the room as well as around other small mirrors from the farm and hand held mirrors anyone might have. Maura’s heart jumped to her throat as she watched her warrior take control of the force of warriors numbering near a hundred. She saw Jane point to a cliff behind her and the picture zoomed to what she was pointing at. They could all see the ropes being lowered down the cliff into a pen filled with beings that had been taken by the creature, some of the captives were family members and friends of many currently in the room with her. Maura heard many prayers being spoken. They all watched as the end of the cliffs were barricaded in by at least ninety warriors while Jane and a squad of ten began to make their way towards the cave where the Zunuluth was hiding. Everyone sighed in relief when the last captive disappeared over the top of the cliff top before gasping in horror and fear when they saw the vast and ugly monster emerge from the cave.

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The smell hit Jane and her squad first. It was horrid, like the festering smell of hundreds of dead rancid and rotting bodies. Their eyes watered as they all fought not to wretch and give away their position. The monster roared when it discovered that its dinner was gone. It ripped the pen apart all the while the creature’s many heads whipped in all directions searching for where the prisoners could have gone. Jane and her squad were hunkered down behind some rocks out of immediate sight, at least at the moment. The creature tore off away from the destroyed pen towards the opening between the cliffs and roared again when arrows, spears, and crossbow bolts began piercing the Zunuluth’s heads and long necks. Those were the only places soft enough for the projectiles to penetrate. When the creature turned away to escape back to the cave the warriors at the cliff opening stopped firing upon the monster and ran closer to it tossing nets in an attempt to capture its deadly barbed tail.

The Zunuluth was not happy when it turned to find its way to the cave blocked as well, but the monstrosity continued to advance towards Jane’s smaller party of warriors. The creature’s vision was greatly hampered because the skilled archers had been aiming for the eyes. The smaller squad used that advantage rushing the creature spears and nets in hand. It was the job of those with Jane to attack the heads and net the claws while the Laird used her sword to pierce the dark spot on the monster’s underbelly.

Jane dodged claws and heads and once even the tail before it had been immobilized by netting. She rolled under the creature and as soon as she caught sight of the darkened spot the Alpha rammed her sword up into the Zunuluth as deeply as she could before ripping her weapon back out only to stab it back in again. The black blood that poured out was nasty and burned wherever it touched, but she continued stabbing several more times while the creature screamed in defeat. Jane drew her feet up and pushed with all her considerable might. She yelled to others near her. “Let’s flip it onto its back!” With another mighty shove of her legs the behemoth was up and with some of the others pushing it further up on one side they flipped the dying creature onto its back. Once on its back several warriors took axes and hatchets to its underside to make sure it wouldn’t be coming back to life.

Suddenly another roar filled the air and the warriors who had been standing near the cave entrance went flying with startled shouts. The downed creature had a friend and it was pissed. The second Zunuluth was the one that had attacked the first cottage Jane and her party had found the day before, one of its crablike legs was missing a section. The section that had been laying by the father in the woodsmen’s cottage.

Jane was yelling “Regroup!” when the second creature attacked with everything it had in its arsenal. Some warriors were down, but the Alpha felt none had died. The dark haired woman was shocked when two small boys ran out of the cave in a bid for freedom, apparently there were more captives inside the cave. Hopefully more prisoners were still alive. The Zunuluth turned to its escaping dinner as Jane lunged for the children, but was only able to knock one of the boys to safety as a claw clamped tightly around her chainmail covered torso. One of the Zunuluth’s heads bit deep into the little boy’s leg she had been unable to reach. Jane rapidly shot one of the eyes out in the head that had the boy in its mouth with her small crossbow. The Laird also grabbed one of the swords from her back and threw it end over end until the blade spun around hitting low on the neck once again of the same head holding the child managing to lop the head clean off. The mouth opened as the head fell and the screaming child rolled away from the severed body part.

The claw around her middle tightened even further and two more of the Zunuluth’s heads came at her. Zev and Phantom were darting in pecking at the creature’s eyes, moving quickly to avoid snapping teeth. Jane pulled her remaining sword from her back and fought with it in one hand and her wolf sword in the other. She was able to cut off two more heads while the other warriors attempted to destroy its others and subdue or cut off its remaining claws and its tail. More of her warriors were down and the creature had sunk its teeth into one young warrior and had another clamped similarly to how she herself was being held except the woman looked to be unconscious. The Laird was furious at the destruction the creature had previously and was currently causing. The powerful Alpha drew in her focus into herself calling her wolf before instantly turning into her wolfwoman form with a loud howl. She kept hold of her swords as her other weapons and armor dropped away to the ground, but her clothes and some of her other natural fiber things were held in flux for when she switched back into her human form. The large black wolfwoman quickly hacked off part of the claw holding her using the remaining part of the claw to vault onto the creature’s shelled back before cutting off the other claw so the unconscious warrior could be taken to safety. The wolf also succeeded in cutting off a fourth head releasing another warrior in the process. The Zunuluth was now down to only one head, small claws, and a netted barbed tail. The Alpha positioned herself over the area where she knew the black spot was located underneath her and howled loudly once more as she plunged her God gifted wolf sword through the armored back of the monstrous creature so hard and fast that part of her arm disappeared inside it and the tip of her sword came out the darkened spot on the underside. Jane wrenched her blade and arm around inside the creature totally eviscerating the organ that gave it life, she couldn’t make herself call it a heart. The creatures didn’t have hearts my Jane’s definition of heart. She could feel the evil and darkness pouring from the Zunuluth as it slowly collapsed under her. Ripping her arm back out of the cracked shell black blood flew out around her before she leapt from its back as others took axes and hatchets to it as well making sure the monster was as dead as the first.

In a growly voice the King ordered ten warriors who were still in good health to join her in entering the cave, while others were to surround the mouth of the dark hollow in case more of the vile creatures were present and tried to escape. The searching group found another pen inside the cave with only a few captives remaining. The prisoners were trying to push the wood over enough for the few still trapped adults could escape like the children had. The searchers also found a pile of bones in the back of the cave in front of what could only be called a nest full of slimy leather like eggs. The nest held six eggs and it appeared that they were beginning to hatch as there were many rips and tears in the hides of the ugly eggs.

“Get the captives out and get me some beings with strength with the fire element. I want this nest torched, then we will torch the bodies of the adults as well.” While her orders were carried out the wolfwoman turned to the eggs and started stabbing into them until she could feel no life remaining.

Three fire elementals soon joined her. “Fire the nest and bones until only ash remains, then do the same to the adult bodies outside. We need to torch every bit of the creatures’ dark taint from the area before we leave this place.”

“Yes, your Majesty!” The trio chorused together.

Jane left the cave to be met by Zeon. “Report!”

“Laird we have lost no one so far, but we have several injuries. Most small, but a few severe. Drawing poultices and salves are being applied to the worst of the wounds and more are being made for the lesser wounds. The strongest healers among us are working on the most severely injured.” Zeon reported.

“No, no, no. Hang in there baby! Don’t you die on me! Please!” A woman’s wailing voice echoed off the cliff walls as she held a little boy.

It was the boy that Jane hadn’t been able to knock to safety. His right leg was missing from mid-calf down and he had lost lots of blood and more was continuing to flow out of him. The boy didn’t look to be over four years old.

“Maura, I need your help.”

“What do you need Jane?”

“I need you to link with me and see what I see and lend me some of your healing gift to boost mine to save a little boy’s life.”

“I will do all that I can sweetheart.”

Jane felt Maura merge deeply with her as she crouched still in her wolfwoman form beside the crying woman and injured boy. “I need water and a cloth to wash off my hands. Quickly!”

Alexi arrived along with Gil and they helped the Alpha clean her large hands and forearms. The Laird immediately laid her powerful wolfwoman hands on the exposed stump and began drawing the poison out. The Royal couple’s combined power was working wonders and those around the injured boy and Alpha could see the poison oozing out of the boy until none remained.

“Maura, I need you to not cap off the wound. We can’t re-attach his lower leg because the creature ate it, but I think I might be able to help if you can keep the exposed ends of the stump healthy and open without too much more loss of blood.”

“I will do my best Jane.” Maura wanted to question what her love was going to do, but felt the urgency of the moment and kept quiet.

The boy was a Lycan, a lion to be exact. Jane kept her palm on the wound so Maura would be able to work on it and laid her other palm on the boy’s forehead while she placed her own forehead on the child’s chest. A great power rose up within Jane before she pushed it inside the boy and followed it with her mind.  The child wasn’t anywhere near the turning like Bethany had been, so she was going to have to force the child’s cub to not only wake fully, but help it grow back part of a limb. The little golden cub did not want to wake at all and it took a great amount of energy to wake it and then keep it calm as the cub felt the enormous pain of his missing foot, and then the additional pressure and pain of the energy flowing around that injured area as Jane helped to form a new limb. It would be weak for a while, but over time it would strengthen and he would not be left with a missing limb. When the foot was formed she whispered to the cub that it was time to come out. The little cub shied away too afraid and hurt to move. Jane mentally picked the cub up holding it tight before carrying it full force out into the open. The boy screamed as his lion-self burst forth, the human scream quickly turning into that of a cub. The boy cub continued to cry as his weak lower leg and foot grew into place.

Everyone felt the power being expended by the Great Wolf King as she saved the child’s life and gave him back his leg and were in awe of what the their leader had done. The boy fell into oblivion as soon as the limb was complete and Jane slumped back onto her heals instantly turning back into her human form.

“Thank you Maura.”

“You are welcome dear, but on that one you did all the hard work. I had no idea you could dive into someone that deeply and call flesh and bone to life.”

“I had to go that deep. He was so young I had to actually carry and force his lion to come out. God I am so tired right now I don’t know if I can stand up and I really need to get this blood off of me it burns like hell.”

“Oh baby I wish I was there to help. Now you get cleaned up and rest as much as you can. Also eat when you can. Do that energy coiling like you did for the tournament to build up enough to be able to function. Just so you know there is a reporter around there somewhere and he broadcast the whole thing from the time you took over the leadership of all the warrior groups until now. Thought you would want that information.”

Jane growled. “Thanks. I do want it. I love you and I will be seeing you as soon as I can, sweetheart.”

“I love you to my powerful warrior. I will have our tent set-up along with the rest of our group’s tents so everyone can rest when you return. The farm here is even more crowded now than it was earlier.” Maura mentally kissed her love before pulling back into herself.

Jane lifted her eyes to see the mother crying while holding her lion cub in one arm and her slightly older son in the other.

In a voice heavy with tears the woman thanked Jane repeatedly. “I don’t know how I can ever repay you for what you did for my youngest son. Actually for me and my eldest son as well. We would not be here if not for you and your warriors. Thank you so much, Laird.”

“None of us need repaid, ma’am. It is our honor and privilege to help where we can. I am glad I was able to help your son. His new growth will be weak for a while. I don’t think he will be able to shift back to a lion again, once he returns to his usual boyish self, until he reaches his teens like most boys. Although, he might find it easier to do so than before since his cub already knows the way. Just make sure he takes it easy on the new foot for a few weeks, maybe get him a crutch to use until it’s stronger, like you would for a broken leg.”

“I will Laird. I will make sure he takes good care of the wonderful gift you have given him.” The woman reached over and clasped the Kings powerful hand. “May the heavens bless you, King Raven.”

Jane squeezed the hand in return. “And you and your family as well.”

It took all she had to stand without assistance. Zeon, Marcus, Evie, Alexi, and Nina surrounded her immediately. “We have a reporter who has been broadcasting everything since the beginning of this little operation. I want him found and want him to have limited access. The injured and traumatized do not need him in their faces. We also need to get some wagons and find out where we need to deliver those we have rescued. Get names of all those that we have saved and their conditions and then contact the places people have been gathering to see which villages and farms they need to be delivered to. Also send some of our people to our camp to pack it up. We should be able to make it back to the Haymaker’s farm tonight and Maura is having our usual camp set up so we can all be comfortable when we get back to the farm. Apparently, it is very crowded there. House, bunkhouse, and barns are full and some tents have already been erected to house large beings and overflow. I have a feeling that the crowd won’t start to dwindle for a few days.” She sighed when she looked down at herself, her clothes were covered in nasty black blood. “I also seriously need my change of clothes and to take a dunk in a lake or something. This stuff is nasty and it really burns the skin.”

Nina smiled. “Well you’re in luck, Laird. When I grabbed your saddle for your horse I also grabbed the clothes you had hanging on the line of your tent and rolled them up and attached them to the back of your saddle like a bed roll. We did that for everyone who had something dry hanging ready to wear. There were only a few of us who did it.”

“Thanks Nina. I could kiss you right now, but I would get you all gross and Maura would probably kick both our asses for it anyway.” Jane smiled and they all chuckled. Her thoughts grew serious once again. “Is there any more seriously wounded that won’t make it back to the more powerful healers?”

“No, everyone has been stabilized for now and should make it easily back to the healers near their homes.” Marcus informed her.

“You may want to walk through the warriors and those we rescued after you’re cleaned up. I think that will really boost morale and reassure everyone after the losses so many have suffered.” Evie advised.

“That is sound advice. I’ll do that as soon as I get cleaned up. Do any of you know where I can do that?”

“There is a fast moving stream on the other side of the far cliff there. That is where several have went to clean up.” Nina pointed. “I will get your things from your horse and have one of our warriors gather your weapons and we will meet you at the stream.”

“Thanks Nina.” The woman was off. Evie and Alexi escorted her to the stream, the duo could see just how drained their Laird was.

Jane sat on the side of the swiftly moving stream hidden from view by the limbs of a willow tree. All of her stained garments and her sword were lying beside her except for her shirt which she unfortunately still wore, she let her legs and feet hang over the bank into the running water. Jane was taking a few moments to draw energy into herself from the power of the rushing water, whereas before she had channeled her own inner power that was now running low after her battle and the episode with the little boy. By the time Nina showed up with her clean clothes, a bar of flowery smelling soap, and a towel Jane felt remarkably better. Harry was with her carrying all of Jane’s weapons that she had lost during the fighting.

“Thanks guys. Please make sure that reporter isn’t hanging around anywhere. I don’t want my naked ass showing up in papers and mirrors across Hecation. It would be a race between me and Maura as to who killed him.”

Harriet “Harry” laughed. “You are safe Laird. The reporter has three guards on him and he is well away from here. You have your privacy.”

“We will leave you to wash and will stand guard outside the tree cover.” Evie waved the other three women out from under the fall of the willow branches before following them out. Zev and Phantom were perched in the tree canopy watching over the King as she tossed off her soiled shirt and entered the rushing water.

It took some scrubbing to get the dried blood off her skin and out of her hair, between the hard scrubbing and the cool water she had a nice pink glow to her skin when she emerged from the stream to dry. Her clean clothes were slightly wrinkled, but felt and smelled a whole lot better than the ones she took off. Harry had used magic and a brush to clean up Jane’s boots as well as she could while the Alpha washed. Once dressed Jane combed her hair with a comb that had been hidden in the towel before pulling her wild mane into a tight pony tail tying it with a leather strip. She felt much better after the wash and the constant drawing of energy from the rushing water while she bathed. Jane was very pleased that she had cleansing spells placed on all of her weapons as she strapped them all back into place only leaving off her mail shirt.

The raven haired woman wrapped the comb and soap in the towel, gathered her ruined clothes, and her mail shirt before ducking back through the willow branches to join her friends and guards.

“I feel much better now. I hope to never have to face a Zunuluth again. They are nasty creatures in every way.” The Laird’s stomach rumbled causing the other women to laugh. “What? I can’t help it. It takes a lot of energy being a badass.”

The smirk on the Laird’s face cracked them up even more. “And you do it so well my Laird.” Evie teased as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Alexi handed her Laird a canteen of green tea and a large wedge of fairy bread. “It isn’t much, but it should calm your hunger at least for a while.”

“Thanks.” It took only moments for the sustenance to be gone. “Now let’s go see how the sorting is going and how close we all are to leaving this place. I really want to make it back to the farm tonight if at all possible. I don’t relish another night sleeping alone in a little cot when I could be wrapped around my lovely mate.”

It took another two hours for them to get wagons enough to carry everyone they rescued as well as the injured and to get everyone sorted to where they needed to go and loaded up. The whole time the King was among the citizens of Hecation soothing and calming where needed, even adding to some of the healing of some of those in worse shape. The King never spoke directly to the reporter, but the reporter did continue to broadcast the general goings on of the clean-up of the rescue and hunt. When everyone was mounted up and ready to go the reporter had tried to join their party, but was convinced not to follow by several warriors as well as civilians.

Jane and her group were the last ones to leave the area and were escorting two wagons filled with mostly women and children. There was only one of the General’s men who had been injured enough that he needed to ride in the wagon instead of on his horse.

The boy who was now a cub was being held in one of the wagon’s by his mother while his brother who looked about two years older wiggled beside the pair as his mother tried to get the fussy boy to be still and rest. “William I know you are tired and hungry, but we have a few more hours before we reach the Haymaker’s farm. Why don’t you rest a while, it will make the trip go by faster?” The mother looked like she wanted to nap herself.

Seeing this Jane rode up beside the wagon. “Ma’am, if William wants to, he can ride in front of me for a little while. It might calm him down a bit.”

The mother could hardly believe the King was offering to let her fussy boy ride with her. “Are you sure you don’t mind?”

“I wouldn’t have offered if I minded.”

William’s eyes were big. “Mama, please! Charley got turned into a cub by da King, canna I get to ride on her horse with her. I’ll be real good, promise.”

“If you promise to be good you can, for a little while.”

The boy squealed with joy and stood moving to the side of the wagon. Jane easily lifted him onto her lap and laughed at the large smile on his face. She also saw the wistful look that crossed the face of the eldest of the rescued children in their party. It was a girl about 12 years old. The next oldest was a boy about eight. Jane read the girl’s mind and knew Gillian and her mother were the daughter and granddaughter that had been taken earlier that day. Their calls were the ones Jane had followed to the Zunuluth’s lair. The pair were also not going to be with them for the whole ride back to the Haymaker’s farm. Their family home wasn’t too much farther along the road. The tall woman also read how the 12 year old wished she was young enough to get to ride on the big black horse with the King.

“I believe I heard someone call you Gillian, didn’t I?” Jane addressed the girl.

“Yes, Laird.”

“Well how would you like to climb up behind me here for the rest of the trip to your home? I know this big boy can take our weight.” The dark haired woman patted her horse’s strong neck.

Gillian sported a beautiful smile as she climbed over to the edge of the wagon and with Jane’s assistance eagerly climbed up to sit on the bed roll behind Jane before holding tight to her King’s sides.

The civilians were surprised at how natural and easy with children the powerful King was, but the warriors who had been traveling with her and the Queen were not fazed at all by the dark haired woman’s interaction with the children.

It took quite a bit longer to get to the fox family’s home when you had to use the road and travel slowly with wagons than running through the woods at full speed. Twenty minutes into his ride William was fast asleep in the King’s arms. His mother seeing her boy asleep made a comfortable spot beside herself and with the King’s help the tired boy was soon settled down by his mother and brother, hopefully to sleep most of the rest of the trip.

Once the boy was settled Jane had Gillian move to sit in front of her. “Can you ride a horse?”

“I do okay. We only had the one, but my grandpa has made sure I knew how to ride him.”

“Good.” Jane handed the girl the reins. “Take these and let’s move on up in the formation.”

“Yes, Laird!” With a beaming smile Gillian eagerly took the reins and did what Alpha ordered.

 

When the group came upon the girl’s home thirty minutes later the large black stallion was leading the way with a smiling and waving Gillian guiding the big black horse up to the front of the house. Her grandparents and the one guard Jane had left behind were standing on the porch smiling and laughing upon seeing the excited girl.

The elder couple were overjoyed to have their daughter and granddaughter returned to them. “Thank you all for bringing back our girls to us safe and whole. It means more to us than I can possibly express.” The father and grandfather spoke. His legs were bandaged, but he was moving around pretty well.”

“We’re glad we could do so. Arrangements have been made and you will have a new work horse to replace the large one you lost as well as a dairy cow. I am also arranging to have a mare delivered for Gillian. She handled my horse very well and a good mare would be useful to all of you.” Jane stated. She wanted the girl to have something to look forward to after the trauma she had suffered and the girl had spoken on their brief ride how she always wanted a horse of her own. It was a small thing Jane could do for Gillian and for the family. Assistance had already been set-up to help all of the families that had been effected by the Zunuluths. That had been one of the first things to be taken care of when she met with the leaders of the other hunting parties after they had destroyed the monsters. The Hecation army would be sending out troops to provide assistance with all that needed to be done to rebuild the affected areas while the Hecation government would be helping with financial assistance as well. Jane made sure that counselors would also be sent to help those in need deal with the loss of loved ones or the trauma many had gone through. She passed that information onto the fox family.

Jane received a tight hug from Gillian as the girl thanked her for the mare and for saving her and her mother’s life. “You just take care of yourself and that mare. That is all the thanks I need little one.” Jane remounted making her way back out to the road where the wagons and most of the guards awaited. They all moved on down the road all of her warriors now back with her party.

Jane continued to give short rides to each of the children as they made their way towards Haymaker farm. Some of the children were real chatter boxes while some barely said a word, but all leaned into Jane seeking comfort from the powerful wolf. Many times the children fell into a deep sleep against her. The Alpha figured it had something to do with the waves of comfort and safety she sent to the children, every one of them was exhausted. The group stopped a few times for potty breaks and to stretch their legs. The warriors shared the food they had in their saddle bags and what was left in the bags on the pack horses with the rescued Hecations.

It was late and well after dark when the first of the mounted warriors appeared out of the trees behind Haymaker farm. Several happy shouts were heard and a crowd began to form as more warriors emerged from the trees followed by two wagons full of former captives. The King was the last to emerge with a smiling Charley sitting in her lap no longer in lion form. Jane stopped by the wagon and sat the boy back down by his mother. The Laird saw her love way on the other side of the yard sporting a wide smile. A path opened up before Maura and Jane leapt off her horse passing the reins to Ashley who stood nearby before heading towards her wife. Zev and Phantom raced ahead of her to join their mates who were perched near Maura. Everyone bowed to Jane as she strode past. Their King had risked her life to protect them and had led the warriors who destroyed the monsters plaguing their homes and families. Jane had taken another step on her way to becoming a great and powerful leader of legend.

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Maura was so proud of her wife. The respect that everyone showed Jane when she had leapt from her horse and started walking towards her brought tears to her eyes. The smaller woman wanted to run to her, but thought it was better to let Jane come to her and get out of the crowd. It wasn’t long before strong arms wrapped around Maura and soft lips met hers in a kiss filled with love and longing.

“It feels like it has been forever since I last kissed you, Maur.”

“I feel the same way, love. I can’t wait to have you naked and in bed with me this night. Soundproofing spells on our tent are going to come in handy.”

Jane chuckled into the kiss. “I totally agree, but we best get everyone squared away first so we won’t be disturbed once we enter our tent.”

They eased from the kiss they had been so lost in to hear the sounds of whistling and cheering. Everyone seemed to really like seeing how in love with each other the King and Queen were. Jane and Maura worked together along with many of their people to find places for everyone to sleep, reuniting family members with their loved ones, making sure anyone who needed it was visited by a healer, and also making sure everyone had hot food to eat and plenty to drink. The atmosphere became that of a celebration and went well into the night. People spoke praises of those they had lost and gave thanks to the heavens for the return of those that had been taken.

Maura and Jane were both glad it took a lot more to get a Lycan drunk than a human or they would have both needed help to their tent by the time things began to die down. Many toasts had been given for the dead and for the survivors. The couple took a quick, yet thorough shower together in the fancy camp shower by their tent. A private covered area led from their tent to the shower a few feet away. They had just finished drying when Jane scooped Maura up in her arms, the smaller woman wrapping her legs around a firm waist. The Laird’s large hands gripped her lady’s ass tightly pulling her close loving the feel of fresh wetness against her tanned skin. Their lips were devouring each other, breasts pressed firmly together.

The passion blazing between them could easily have caught the tent on fire. Jane sprang up onto the bed with Maura firmly beneath her never breaking their kiss or their connection in any way. The dark haired woman’s hands went to her loves knees prying them from around her and pushing them up and out as she positioned them both where their cores would meet. When they locked together they both groaned into the kiss as Laird Raven rocked forcefully against her mate burning them both up in an inferno until they both exploded together crying out each other’s name as they peaked. Jane kept rocking until she brought them over together once more before rolling to the side carrying her wife to lay up on top of her.

“That.” Jane breathed out heavily. “Was fucking awesome. If we weren’t so tired right now I would keep going for the rest of the night, but we are both exhausted. I’m so glad to fall asleep with you tonight. I really missed you last night. I love you Maura and each night spent in your arms is a gift to cherish.”

“You wife are a sweetheart and I love you so much. I never thought I would ever need someone as much as I need you. Having to be away from you the last day and a half has really driven home the fact that you really are a part of me now. A part that I need to live, because I feel that without you I don’t believe I could survive.”

“I feel the same for you. We are now two as one baby and we always will be.”

Maura snuggled her head down on her wife’s chest loving the arms around her and having their legs entwined. “I hope you don’t mind me sleeping up here, but I find it a very pleasant place to be.”

“Not at all. I love when you sleep one top of me like this.” Jane kissed Maura on the temple. “Sleep well my love.” She pulled the covers up over them both wrapping her arms back around her already dozing wife before joining Maura in dream land.

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Well another chapter down. A little note for all out there who may be wondering this story still has a long way to go. I see it reaching 400,000 to 500,000 words or more easy. I hope you don’t mind. Please review. I love hearing from my readers. Until Next Time….Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 29

The King and Queen and their party stayed at the Haymaker farm for three more days. Jane and Maura had both worked tirelessly to help those that they could. Luckily most families harmed by the Zunuluth had family and close friends nearby to support them through the tough times ahead. Unfortunately, the boy and girl that Jane saved at the first house they came to on the first day of the hunt did not have any family and their parents didn’t have any close friends in the area. After much talking and after giving the children, Katie and Wally the opportunity to hang around with Cornelius and Jarvis it was decided that the couple would stay with Katie and Wally. The children got on well with both men and gravitated towards them as substitute parental figures as Jeremy and Emily had not. Cornelius and Jarvis were planning on helping repair the woodsman’s home and property the children had now inherited and hire a caretaker for the property before taking the children to their own home to live until Katie and Wally were old enough to decide what they wanted to do.

Jane and Maura thought that was a sensible idea since Jeremy and Emily had become attached to Millie just as Millie had to them. Jeremy and Emily were also attached to the rest of the Miller family, as well as, Jane and Maura. The Miller’s had approached Jane and Maura with the offer of staying with the Royal couple wherever they went as their loyal servants. The couple had discussed it and decided that it would be nice to have such loyal people in their service wherever they traveled or lived just as they would have loyal guards wherever they went. Jeremy was very excited because that meant he would get to stay as Jane’s page and someday become her squire. Emily said she was Maura’s page causing the Queen to laugh with delight and agree without hesitation.

There was much well-wishing and reverent fanfare as the Laird and Lady left the area around Haymaker farm. The King and Queen waved to all as they passed, both were glad things had settled enough for them to be on their way once more. The group traveled for three more days and on the morning of the third day the Royal Caravan came to the prosperous farms on the outskirts of King’s Place.

Jane reached her hand out and squeezed her wife’s. “Come Maura, it is time we led this parade. The King and Queen of the Lycans haven’t been to King’s Place for thousands of years. We need to be out front when they return home.”

Maura smiled. “Lead the way King Raven.” The guards around them parted as King Raven and Lady Snow moved out front and led them into the center of town. In the town square Jane led Maura to two shrines she had dreamed about the night before. In the dream a tall black haired warrior came to her informing her of the tradition of the King and Queen always stopping at the shrines and paying homage to Lord Fenrir and Lady Vivienne.

The couple each dropped a gold coin in the donation box and lit a candle at the foot of each shrine before thanking the God and Goddess for all of their help and guidance. When they stepped out of the chapel a large crowd had gathered and cheers went up at the return of the Royal Lycans.

The couple paused at the top of the steps. Jane knew they wanted her to say something, but she had no idea what to say. She hated public speaking.

Maura squeezed her hand. “You can do this Jane. I am right here with you.” She sent love and reassurance through their link. It was one of those times when her love needed her support.

Jane held up her free hand and the crowd quieted. “Thank you all for the warm welcome. My wife and I look forward to getting to know the area and the beings who live here. We have heard great things about King’s Place. We very much look forward to the tournament and festival to be held here in a few months. We hope to explore the town and surrounding areas soon. For now however, we are eager to get to our new home. It has been a long and eventful journey for us, so we are now off home to King’s Manor.” The crowd cheered again at the King’s short speech while Jane escorted her lady to her horse and helped her mount.

Much of the area population joined the caravan as they made their way to King’s Manor. Jane waved the Mayor, who was riding a beautiful tan gelding, over. “Why is everyone gathering at the top of the rise there? It seems they are all excited about something.”

“They are excited, Your Majesty. They all want to know if the stories they have always heard about the protective maze around King’s Manor is true.”

“What story?” A dark eyebrow lifted in question.

“A wall surrounds the Manor, but inside the wall and directly around the house is a maze. Only those who are in service at the Manor can safely travel through it. It is said that when the King or Queen arrive that the maze parts and a lovely stone pathway appears welcoming them home. The maze answers only to the Royal Lycans.”

“That is a new one for me. I haven’t heard that tale. It will be interesting to see if it is true.” Jane smiled at the wildcat Mayor. “Great, we can’t just arrive home we have to make a maze move. Have you heard anything about this?” She glanced at Maura.

“No, not a thing. We are going to have to simply figure it out when we get there.” Maura offered her mate a small smile.

The crowd gathered on the rise left a wide swath open in the center for the Royal couple and some of their party to move front and center to get their first look at King’s Manor. The sight that greeted them was breathtaking. The home was large with two wings coming off of the main section forming a shape similar to an H when viewed from above. The whole looked like a cross between a grand European stone manor and a gothic castle complete with vinery growing up the walls. The stones were white and varying shades of grey from very light to very dark. The grounds of the estate spread out wide around it and were beautifully tended. A formidable, yet aesthetically pleasing wall encompassed the immediate twenty acres of the vast estate. The maze ran along the inside of the wall around the whole place. You had to get through the wall and the maze before you reached the beautiful lawns. The house itself was three stories with rounded turret like walls at both ends of each wing. The walls also arched out where the wings met the main section of the house, and also in the front and back at the middle of the central section of the home. There were narrow walkways along the peaks of the roofs to each turreted area. From those posts one would be able to easily watch over the whole valley. Well behind the house they could see barns and other buildings. All in all it was a beautiful, yet formidable estate. The double gates looked to be made of petrified wood and there was a gatehouse built into one side of the wall. The estate looked like it had been frozen in time. There was no movement to be seen except for cattle and horses grazing in a far pasture outside of the inner walls of the property.

Jane reached her hand out for Maura’s. “You ready to go get a close up look at our new home, my dear?”

“I am ready when you are. It is quite lovely. I look forward to exploring it.” Maura smiled over at her wife. The two were equally excited about finally reaching their new home.

Jane and Maura rode down the rise hands still clasped together. Most of the locals stayed atop the rise, only the community leaders rode down with the couple and their party. The size of the place became even more evident as they rode closer to the tall walls and massive ornate gate surrounding the estate.

The Royal couple stopped their horses twenty feet from the gate. Jane dismounted before helping Maura do the same. Most of their guards followed suit, but stayed near the horses as the Laird waved them back.

The couple approached the gate that had a beautiful carving of a black and white wolf side by side similar to that on their Royal standard, only on the carving each wolf had one paw raised showing the pad of their foot.

Jane lifted her hand shifting it into a wolf paw, indicating for Maura to do the same. They kept their other hands clasped together as they touched paws with each of the carvings that represented themselves.

A huge groan was heard as the gates started to open outwards. Jane and Maura slowly backed up as the gate opened and the crowd behind them on the top of the rise began to cheer, it had been a very long time since the main gates had been opened.

The beautiful maze was before them, however as soon as the gate fully opened the maze started to shift and sway and an elegant stone roadway opened up leading to the circle drive in front of the palatial estate. It was truly remarkable. Once the maze ceased its shifting the entire scene looked as if that was how it had always been. The whole thing was pretty cool.

Taking the reins of their mounts the couple walked in together holding hands as their horses trailed behind. As they came closer to the house the front doors opened and staff dressed in beautiful livery came out to stand on either side of the front steps. Some were large and some looked no bigger than two feet tall. As the couple reached the bottom of the steps a slim creature with skin like aged dark wood strode forward. They could not tell if the creature with pointy wing like ears and round bat like eyes was a male or a female.

“I think it is a Brownie, but I am not sure.” Maura privately sent.

“Maybe when it introduces itself that will help us figure out if it is male or female.”

The creature bowed low. “I am your head steward here at King’s Manor. My name is Vineloch. It is a great pleasure to have the King and Queen return to us and a great honor for all of us here at the Manor to serve you as our families have for generations.” The cultured voice or name gave nothing away, the being still could be either male or female. “Welcome home, Your Majesties.”

“Thank you Vineloch. This place is beautiful, if the inside has been as well maintained as the outside I can easily praise the magnificent job all of you have done taking care of King’s Manor for generations.” Jane scanned the staff as she spoke seeing pleased expressions on their faces. “Vineloch, would you please give us a brief introduction to all these talented beings who work to take care of the Manor?” Jane pulled Maura’s arm through her own as they walked, their horses had been taken from them by a stable lad as they had approached the steps.

It didn’t take long for Vineloch to complete the introductions and the staff was dismissed back to their duties. Jane took the opportunity after everyone, but the steward and head housekeeper left to introduce the leaders of her guards. The head housekeeper was a plump woman with pale violet skin, pointy ears, dark grey eyes, and dark violet curly hair. She also had a ready smile and jovial demeanor. The Laird and Lady neither one had any idea what she was, but they did like her on first acquaintance, her name was Constance, but she said everyone called her Connie.

After Marcus, Zeon, General Poledio, and Nina were introduced Jane left them to introduce the rest of their warriors as needed. Vineloch assured the King that rooms in the warriors’ wing of the Manor were already prepared and awaiting them.

Maura smiled at Connie. “We have staff who have been traveling with us as well. Some will be going back to their families and loved ones soon, but the Miller family will be staying as our personal staff and will always travel with us. Please make sure they have comfortable accommodations near each other and assist them with fitting in here. The Millers will be here as long as we will and will leave when we do.”

Connie nodded with a smile. “I will help in any way I can and make sure the Millers have family housing in the staff quarters, Your Grace.”

“Thank you and be aware that a boy who stays with them, Jeremy, is King Raven’s page and his sister, Emily, is mine.” The steward and the head housekeeper both nodded in understanding.

The Royal couple took the time to look around the grand foyer and into the doorways of rooms nearby. It was all incredible and cemented the feeling of walking back in time.

“These rooms are formal gathering rooms for when you have visitors or for when you have overnight houseguests. The Royal family private quarters encompasses the entire third floor of the center section of the Manor.” Steward Vineloch informed. “The second floor houses the Royal offices, studies, the library, and a Throne Room of sorts for holding general court.”

That threw both women a bit. “We have a freakin’ Throne Room in our house!” Jane’s mind voice held a bit of unease. The surprises of the positions they now held just kept coming.

“I can give you a general tour of the main section now if you like and let you get comfortable and give you a more in-depth tour of the entire Manor when you are ready and better rested. There is also much Madam Constance and I need to discuss with you in regards to the Manor, but there is no rush. We wish you to be comfortable in your home.” The Steward showed them around the central area of the first floor before taking them to the second.

Jane fell in love with the King’s office and study on the second floor with its dark woods and rich tones and massive leather furnishings. The rooms suited her well.

Maura also fell in love with the Queen’s office and study. The two rooms had a more feminine feel to them, but also appealed to Maura’s more scholarly and scientific side. Both women also loved the library and were eager to explore their new domains as soon as time allowed.

In the Throne Room they were encouraged by the steward as well as their friends Alexi and Evie to sit in the ornate yet tastefully carved large chairs. Jane’s was larger and darker in color to Maura’s, however the two seats complemented each other and fit their body frames and political positions well.

“This is so unreal Maura. We are sitting on actual Thrones! You look great on yours by the way. I would bow at your feet, although I would be very tempted to start nibbling my way up to some of my most favorite parts of your body to worship.” Jane winked at her lovely mate.

“You are very sexy when you flirt and I rather like the idea of you bowing at my feet worshiping your way up my body. We will have to try that later. It is hard to believe we are sitting in our own Thrones. It will take a while for us to get used to all of this, but I think we are doing remarkably well so far. By the way, you my King look wonderful in your Throne. We may have to get this room closed off some time. I would love to see what you looked like naked in that ornate seat.” Maura smiled as she saw her mate’s neck flush, something it did when she was getting aroused. The Queen turned her attention to Alexi and Evie as they were discussing sleeping arrangements with Connie. She stepped down from her seat as the children ran into the room followed by Millie. Both children slid to halt in front of her, Jeremy gave her a quick bow and Emily a curtsy before they ran on to their Laird giving her the same.

Jane smiled at the children. “Pretty cool, huh? This is my first time to sit on a Throne. Jeremy hop up in Maura’s and tell me what you think of it.” Jane patted her knee. “Come on up Emily and tell me what you think.” Both children’s eyes became large, but she didn’t have to tell them twice, they hurriedly did as they were told.

“This is so cool Laird. I feel very Royal sitting up here where I can see the whole room easily. Lady Snow’s seat is very comfortable too. I bet that will be good for when you have to sit here for long times when you have to hold court.” Jeremy observed with a thoughtful smile.

“I feel very big up here. No one would pick on anyone who sat in a chair like this. It is good to be King and Queen. It is also good to be the King and Queen’s pages. Jeremy and me love it loads.” Was Emily’s thoughts.

“Well Lady Snow and I love having you and Jeremy as our pages. You have both become very special to us.” She hugged the small girl.

Many eyes had been on the powerful King and the two orphaned children. The staff at the Manor were pleased to see how Jane interacted with the children and those around them and were glad to see the couple seemed very well liked and down to earth.

General Poledio had been watching as well. “Lady Snow I think it would be best if you assisted Cookie in getting the servants settled and getting those children off the Thrones and to their quarters. The other women can help you. I would like to speak with King Raven about setting up the schedule for the watch here at the Manor.” He spoke as a man used to having men do as he commanded.

Jane went to stand as the room fell silent, but her wife waved her back. “I can handle him, Jane. I need to do this. I can’t let him overstep with me or others will try it when you are not around.”

“Alright, but when you are done I’m going to be putting this General in his place in my own way. He has overstepped with me also.”

“Understood, dear.”

Maura turned to the General as everyone else moved away from him. “Did you just order me around in my own home General? Did you just order me and the other women to go do women’s work while the mighty warriors talked? You do realize some of the women you ordered away are in fact warriors as well and that your King is in fact a female.”

The man cleared his throat. “I am aware of those facts, but as I am the highest ranking warrior here it is my duty to take control of seeing everything put to rights. Zeon and Marcus may not be military, but they are at least equal to me as far as being Alpha is concerned. None other here is except for the King herself and not one of us is her equal.”

“How do you know that no one in this room is more Alpha than you besides the King?” Maura questioned.

“No one has ever backed me down in an Alpha challenge. Some have equaled me, one was even a woman, but none have beaten me.”

“Fine, I challenge you to prove to you that I am much more Alpha than you are. I have tested my strength against Zeon, Marcus, Alexi, Evie, and even Nina, so when this is all over I can tell you exactly where you stand.”

The man actually smirked. “If that is your wish.”

The two stood back from each other ten paces. Maura waved him to begin.

The General slowly built up his power in an attempt to not push his Queen too far, but soon began to sweat as his power grew and the Lady did not act as if she felt anything at all.

Maura felt when he had reached his limit. “Is that all you have, really? I was expecting something greater with the way you were talking. Just so you know Alexi, Evie, and Nina are all your equal and maybe a bit more. Marcus and Zeon are definitely more Alpha than you are. As for me, let me give you a small taste.” The lady smiled wickedly before blasting the arrogant General clean off of his feet slamming him into the wall behind him and pinning him there. “The only one that I have met thus far who is Alpha to me is the King herself and I have met members of the Undrehiel Council. Do not ever disrespect me again and certainly not in my own home, for the next time I will not be so nice.” She released the man letting him fall in a heap on the floor.

Jane stepped up behind her after setting Emily down in her Throne. “That was hot my Queen. I like when you go all Alpha like that. You are going to have to show me in private very soon.” Jane whispered in her ear.

Maura got delicious tingles running up and down her spine from what was to come. “I look forward to it.” She stepped away from Jane and went to join the children and Millie. The children were still perched up on the large chairs.

“Zeon I want all the warriors who arrived with us today here front and center immediately.” Jane ordered. She was no longer the playful mate, but The Alpha.

“Yes, Laird.” Zeon was off like a shot.

“I want each group to form up behind their leaders.” She told the remaining Alphas in the room.

Alexi, Marcus, and Nina spread out to give their warriors room to form up on them. Evie moved to the first rank before Marcus. Alexi would move to the same position in her squad once Zeon returned.

The General was still lying dazed on the floor by the wall as members of his squad filed in. Jane put Sargent Gilbrate Masdone in charge of the squad. He was the most Alpha among them except for the General. Once everyone had fallen in and their leaders had called them to attention Jane moved to stand before them.

“I would like to begin by thanking all of you here for helping to get my wife and myself here safe and sound. We had a few adventures along the way, but we are all here today none the worse for wear. I have made many very good friends since I became Laird Raven. I have seen many amazing things that I had never dreamed of seeing. I had hoped to be able to give you all a few days to relax after our journey before I addressed this issue, but certain circumstances have prevented that.

I know that all of you had some sort of commitment to duty before you came on this journey with us, be it a military one, a work related one, or simply abiding by your Alpha’s orders. I know that some of you have family and loved ones you are anxious to return home to or positions and jobs you must return to. What I need to know now is how many of you would like to stay on now and become part of the King’s or Queen’s warriors. Joining the King’s or Queen’s warriors trumps any other obligation such as military or Alpha orders. I cannot guarantee you all a spot. You will train here with me and others and I will appoint you as I deem you ready. Some of you I have spent more time with than others and I think you are ready now, but I do not know your wishes as of yet. I know that most of the current leaders have other important commitments they must attend to and will be working with me in other aspects outside of becoming Royal warriors.”

Jane moved to stand in front of Marcus’ small squad. “Who here among you are interested in staying with me and Lady Snow as Royal Warriors?”

Warren, Tony, and Ashley all raised their hands. It seemed that Marcus and Evie would be leaving in a few months alone. “You are all accepted.”

She moved down to Zeon and Alexi’s squad and asked the same question. All of them raised their hands as well, except for the two top Alphas. “You are all accepted.” Though she did give Ethan a look that clearly stated she would put him on probation or send him back to Zeon in a heartbeat if he screwed around.

Next she stepped in front of Nina’s squad. “I know all of you are loyal to Captain Donovan and enjoy sailing so I will not hold anything against anyone who chooses to return to the Captain’s service. Are any of you interested in becoming Royal Warriors?”

About half of them raised their hands and surprisingly so did Nina. “It is good to have so many of you choose to stay. You are all accepted.”

Jane was glad that so far none of those that she was leery about had wanted to stay. The next group would be the harder group because she did not know them very well.

She stopped beside the Sargent. “I don’t know most of you well although I have fought against some of you in tournament or practice and fought alongside you against the Zunuluths.” She looked at the twenty warriors before her. “Are any of you interested in staying and training to become one of the Royal warriors?”

Twelve including the Sargent raised their hands. They were all warriors that she had spent time with and had fought with. It seemed none she deemed unsuitable had wanted to stay. “You twelve are also accepted. That gives me twelve from the Hecation Army squad, six from the Raven’s Lady, eight from Zeon’s squad, and three from Marcus’ squad. That’s a total of 29 loyal warriors. That is a fine start.”

Before she could say more the General interrupted her. “30 Laird, I will be joining as well, you will need an experienced leader for these men. I will be that leader.”

The Laird turned on the man. “That is the second time in an hour that you have disrespected me in my own home. You may be a General in the Hecation Army, but as of now you will never be a member of the Royal warriors. You are too caught up in the power leadership can give you. You feel you are better than anyone in this room because of your rank and the fact that you are male. I have had problems with you accepting my authority since we have met. Your gross insubordination towards my wife and me earlier cemented your fate. I assure you General there are several in this room who would make excellent leaders and they will get that opportunity. General Poledio you will be leaving within a week along with the others who have chosen to go back home.”

The General stood stunned and disbelieving.

Jane moved to stand upon the dais before the Thrones. “Nina, Warren, Sargent Masdone, Maxine please fall in before me front and center.”

The four quickly complied.

“Warren I appoint you Captain of the King’s Warriors, Maxine you are appointed his second, and become Lieutenant of the King’s Warriors. Nina I appoint you as Captain of the Queen’s Warriors and Masdone will be your second and become Lieutenant of the Queen’s Warriors. Congratulations to the four of you. There will be more appointments as needed and as I learn more of all of you. I want you all to settle down and relax for a few days we will use skeleton shifts for now as we learn our new domain and adjust accordingly. You are all now dismissed.”

“General you will meet me on the training grounds tomorrow afternoon at 2. You will be my sparring partner.” The man went a little green at that, but nodded.

The room quickly emptied of warriors and Cookie and Maddie showed up to retrieve Millie and the children and show them to their new quarters.

“Laird will you come checkout our new quarters before bedtime? I would like you to make sure it is safe.” Emily looked imploringly up at her Laird.

Jane bent placing a kiss on the girl’s forehead. “I will make sure to check out your quarters thoroughly before you go to bed.”

The girl’s smile was infectious and had everyone smiling with her. “Thank you Laird Jane.” She grabbed her brother’s hand and began pulling him from the room as the Miller family followed.

Maura stepped into her wife’s arms wrapping hers securely around the taller woman’s waist. “You are really sexy when in command mode. Are you ready to go up and check out our quarters? I would love to take a nice long bath before dinner and get the road grime off of me and also maybe relax with my sexy mate in a comfy bed for a while too.”

“I can get behind that. Let’s go see what our new private quarters are like.” The warrior kissed her lovely wife before turning and waving the Steward and Connie to lead the way.

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“This place is incredible Jane. There is nothing in here that isn’t one of a kind and handcrafted and much of it is antique. I mean it is all museum quality.” Maura was running her hands along everything.

“I assure you Your Grace that everything is magically protected and you do not have to treat your quarters like a museum. This is to be the place you relax and put your feet up.” The Steward seemed a little worried with the reverent way Maura was touching everything.

“Don’t worry Vineloch. Lady Snow just really appreciates fine craftsmanship. I will send you with her to a high end shoe store sometime and you can really see what I mean.” Jane chuckled as the Steward paled. Hmm, could be a guy with the way he reacted to shoe shopping, but maybe not she wasn’t a fan of it either. The dark haired woman was equally impressed with their new private quarters, but liked that is didn’t feel intimidating in such a way she would be afraid to sit on anything and relax. Their quarters were bigger than any place she had ever lived. The bed in the bedroom was huge and she couldn’t wait to explore it with her wife. The bathroom in their suite was incredible as well. It was amazing what magic and ingenuity could do without the use of electricity.

The whole place was amazing. The kitchen was like something out of a magazine, a mix of old world and magically modern. There was a grand piano that she couldn’t wait to play in one room and in another a really nice pool table as well as a snooker table and other games. Her mind swayed to the image of Maura naked on the pool table, but was cut off when said woman tapped her foot knocking it off of the table before the couch she was sitting on.

“Take your shoes off before you put your feet on the furniture. I have never allowed that in my home, why would you think I would start now.” Maura gave her the look.

“I never had a problem with it at my apartment.” Jane grumbled, but toed off her shoes pushing them under the table before putting her feet back up on the table. She knew the placement of the shoes would bug Maura, but she wouldn’t say anything about it, yet.

Connie and Vineloch grinned at each other upon witnessing the way the couple got on together. They may be a King and Queen to the outside world, but at home it was nice to see they were just like everyone else. Both of the staff members had seen many beings who thought they were better than everyone no matter where they were. It was good to see Laird Raven and Lady Snow were not among those.

Jane looked up at the huge mirror over the fireplace. “Hey is that one of the magic mirrors that is like a television, internet, and phone all in one or just a plain old looking glass?”

Connie smiled at the dark haired woman reclining on the sofa. “It is a COM mirror, Laird.” She picked up a little jewel encrusted rectangle of brass. Symbols were etched into the tops of the jewels. “This Laird is similar to what you refer to as a remote control in the human world.” The housekeeper quickly showed Jane how the thing worked and what all the little jewels did.

“Thanks Connie. I look forward to checking it all out later.”

Before Connie and Vineloch left they informed the couple that they could join everyone in the main dining hall at 6 for dinner or dinner could be brought to them to enjoy privately in their own dining room or if the duo wished they could cook if that was their preference. The kitchen was fully stocked and if there was ever anything they wanted to add to it just let them know and it would be taken care of. The couple said they would dine in the main dining hall their first night in residence.

Once alone Jane and Maura wasted little time running a nice hot bubble bath in their giant tub and taking a long soak washing one another that in no time at all turned into much more pleasurable things. After the satisfying bath the couple set an alarm before curling up together skin to skin and let exhaustion take them. It was good to be home, a home they found only in each other no matter where life took them.

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I hope you liked this update and as always, I would love to hear from you. Until Next Time…Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 30

Dinner their first night at the Manor was an interesting affair. The main dining hall had a long table set up on a dais across the far end of the room and four lines of tables ran the length of the room. The occupants of the hall came to attention as Jane and Maura entered and were shown to the high table on the dais where they sat in large comfortable chairs facing the room.

Once the couple was seated Laird Raven waved them all to carry on and everyone went on about their business.

Jane leaned into Maura. “I feel like Professor Dumbledore. That makes you Professor McGonagall.” She winked at Maura. “I can so see you as the strict Professor with a good heart. I’ll let you keep me in line any day.”

Maura smiled back. “I am so taking you up on that later. I became really worked up today taking down the General, then seeing you being all Kingly.” She smirked as her mate swallowed a groan shifting in her seat.

“Let’s eat fast.” King Raven was grinning at her wife when she spotted Page Jeremy in his new finery. He was helping serve the high table and looked proud, yet nervous.

Zeon, Alexi, Warren, and Maxine sat beside the King while Marcus, Evie, Nina, and Masdone sat beside the Queen.

The rest of the warriors sat together at the table on the far right as other members of the household sat at the closest ends to the high table at the remaining tables. No row was more than a quarter full.

Connie and Vineloch kept everything running like clockwork and many of the members of the couples’ new household watched the monarchs avidly as they talked and interacted with those around them. All were curious about the new King and Queen of the Lycans.

When things were settled and Connie and Vineloch were prepared to eat, those who didn’t know the couple were shocked when they asked the steward and head housekeeper to join them at the high table. Those on either side of Jane and Maura were nearly finished with their meals and gladly moved down a seat. Vineloch sat by the King and Connie by the Queen.  Jane laughed at the General’s upset demeanor as he sat down at the warriors’ table.

“So Vineloch is this generally how meals go in the main dining hall?”

“Only dinner is usually this formal. Breakfast and Lunch are more buffet style or cafeteria style depending on the size of the attendance expected and the fare being served.” The steward explained.

“I would like to let my wolf free for a run in the morning. The field and forest behind the estate look inviting for me and my mate to explore. Is there any problems with that plan I should be aware of or places we should avoid?” They continued to eat and chat as Connie and Maura did the same. The women found out a little more about their new home and its surroundings.

Laird Raven stood and helped her Lady from her chair before turning to the two head members of their household staff. “Please convey our most sincere thanks and satisfaction to all who had any hand in this delicious meal and all who worked the dining hall and kitchen tonight. They all did a fine job.” Her voice was loud enough that she knew many had heard.

“We will, your majesty.” The steward bowed and the housekeeper curtsied as the couple stepped off the dais.

They stopped briefly in front of Page Jeremy. “Looking sharp there Page. You did a fine job tonight. Remember don’t stay up too late. I will be heading off now to see Emily. I promised to make sure her room was safe for her.” The Laird winked clapping the boy on the shoulder affectionately before she and Maura slowly walked out talking briefly with those they knew and greeting a few they didn’t.

So far the household was pleased with their new King and Queen.

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Once Emily was satisfied that the rooms she would share with the Miller family were safe Jane and Maura hugged the girl and tucked her into bed and then sharing a goodnight with the Millers that were present before heading to their quarters on the third floor of the central wing of the estate.

Jane had only just shut and locked the door to their apartments when Maura ordered in a very strict tone. “Strip there Jane and fold your clothes placing them neatly on your boots.” The dark haired woman’s eyebrow rose at the tone, but she quickly complied interested to see what Maura had in mind.

“Come stand here.” The smaller woman pointed to an area in the middle of the room. Once Jane was in the desired spot Maura circled the taller woman trailing fingers along the well-toned body. “Hands clasped behind your head, elbows out, and spread those feet apart.” Maura tapped a strong thigh until she was satisfied. “I love this body of yours. The symmetry and proportions are perfect and the musculature is very pleasing to me.” Her nails circled nipples that grew harder as her touch grew nearer.

Jane fought to hold position when Maura pinched her nipples firmly. Strict Maura always rocked her world. Actually, Maura rocked her world period. Jane groaned as the pinch hardened.

“Oh, you like that. Your sex is even fuller and you are now coated in new wetness.” The Queen’s fingers skimmed across plump folds feeling the slick moisture before slowly bringing her shining fingers to her mouth never looking away from Jane’s face as she sampled.

Jane was fighting not to take control, but god was Maura hot. “Take off my clothes carefully Jane and lay them neatly over the sofa.”

Without complaint the task was soon done. “Good, now back into position and don’t move.” Maura disappeared into their master suite. She returned carrying something in her hands, though Jane couldn’t tell what.

Maura spent exquisite time making the warrior’s nipples hard and erect before placing clamps on each nipple with a chain connecting them.

“Fuck!” Jane hissed out as the clamps bit into her sensitive nips.

Maura’s hand came down hard twice on the dark haired beauty’s ass once on each cheek.

The play was new for them, but Jane was willing to experiment with Maura.

“You know I don’t like you to use vulgar language and I am the Alpha tonight.” The shorter Alpha took a small weight attaching it to the center of the chain letting it drop.

Biting back a curse, Jane groaned again.

“Now on your knees and get that sweet mouth of yours between my thighs. I want your face to shine when you’re done bringing me to climax. Keep those hand behind your head.”

The tall woman dropped to her knees on the soft rug before her mate not hesitating in pressing her face firmly between soft spread legs plunging her tongue deep into wet swollen depths.

Maura’s fingers gripped dark tresses tightly holding her woman firmly in place until she was done with her, at least for the moment. She had Jane bring her to orgasm twice before allowing her to clean up all of her juices with her talented tongue. The kneeling woman’s face did indeed shine with the rewards of a job well done and her breasts were rising and falling rapidly. It was quite obvious how turned on the tall woman was. Her body was shaking with arousal and her inner thighs were coated with fresh womanly honey.

Taking her time Maura absorbed the glorious sight of her powerful mate panting before her. It was a vision she wanted branded in her mind for all time. “You did very well. I have always appreciated your oral talents. Now stand, hands where they are, legs spread as before.” Maura knew for her control to continue she had to stay firm because any weakness shown would bring Jane’s Alpha spirit breaking forth.

The Laird was fighting it for Maura’s sake and because she was intrigued and wanted to see where her lady would take them.

The smaller woman ran one manicured nail down the center of the warriors gleaming torso before circling a very large full clit. “Hold position.” Another clamp on a chain appeared and though it had just as many teeth as the ones now on Jane’s breasts the teeth looked to be coated in a thin rubber like substance to prevent injury.

It took a lot for the dark haired beauty to hold position, but her mate hadn’t wavered and she would do all she could to give her mate her submission, but damn her knees nearly buckled when the clamp closed on the base of her aroused clit. “Holy Fuck!” escaped before she could stop it. Ten firm swats to her backside was her reward for that slip up.

“If you keep speaking like that I will have to resort to a belt or paddle next. You don’t want to push me farther than that.” The warning was clear in the honey redhead’s voice. She picked up the end of the chain attached to the clit clip. Maura removed the weight from between the clamped breasts and fastened the end of the clit clamp’s chain to the center of the chain hooked to Jane’s nips. She pulled gently smiling as she watched her lover fight not to curse once more as she felt the bite on her nips and clit at the same time. “Very good.”

The Lady Alpha attached the weight back to the chain, but this time only about two inches above where the clamp bit into Jane’s precious clit.

“Now go answer the call of nature and cleanup for bed. Do not remove your new jewelry and do not attempt to bring yourself to climax. Once you are ready for bed you will crawl up to the middle of the bed on all fours then place your cheek down on the bed, but stay on your knees. I want your arms behind your back with you palming your elbows. I will join you when I’m ready.” Her palm came down hard on a slightly pink ass cheek. “Now go and be quick about it!”

Jane did so immediately groaning as the weighted chain pulled on her sensitive flesh with every movement.

…..

Maura took her time gathering their discarded clothing and making sure their quarters were secure. She was hanging things in their closets when a freshly clean Jane still in her chained state re-entered the bedroom from the bathroom. The woman had taken a quick shower pulling her hair up onto her head to keep it dry. The warrior was still very much aroused Maura knew because the sweet scent mingled nicely with her freshly showered fragrance. “Hair down before you take your position.” The Lady ordered from the closet door.

Soon dark locks fell down around sculpted shoulders and back, the hair clip tossed onto a nearby table. The olive skinned beauty climbed up from the bottom of the bed carefully assuming the desired pose. She also discovered the reason behind the weights new position. In Jane’s current state the weight put a constant delicious and torturous tug on her clit. It was all a mix of pleasure and pain that was driving Jane insane with need.

“Hold exactly as you are while I clean-up and prepare to join you.” With the way Jane’s head was turned she watched as her sexy lady disappeared into the bathroom catching glimpses of her as went about her business. Jane wondered how long she would be made to wait with her ass in the air and wondered what was in store for her when Maura did rejoin her.

The Queen had not rushed in her preparations. Over a half hour later she stepped out of the bathroom wearing the ladykock already 8” erect and fully hard. Jane swallowed audibly and felt more moisture escape her slit. Her wife was so hot and the look on her face frightened and aroused at the same time.

The small woman walked around the bed admiring her strong proud mate who awaited her. Once on the side of the bed where Jane was no longer facing her she retrieved a few things from the bedside table drawer she had stored within earlier and climbed upon the bed. “You have been doing very well Jane. I hope you continue to do so.” Her hands began roaming all over her love’s body as she moved around her so she was in Jane’s sights once more.

“Do you see this?” She showed the kneeling woman a tiny device about the size and shape of a pinky, but had a slim contoured base. “I bought this when I purchased the ladykock and a few other fun toys such as those lovely clamps. Did you know that the little node that sits just here on us inside the harness” Her finger tickled Jane’s back opening. “Can do much more than pulse and vibrate. It can grow and fill. You set the size of how large you want it to grow. It starts out small and slowly fills you and grows as you adjust and get aroused.”

Maura rolled the little finger looking device between her own fingers. “I know how much you would like to take me anally sometime soon, hopefully during our Heat cycle. I have the device in me now slowly growing as I adjust and get more turned on. It makes for a very effective anal trainer as does this little thing. You see it works the same way. This little thing will slide easily in and grow while I play with you. As you adjust to it and get more turned on by me it will keep you full and stretched adding another level of pleasure play to our fun. Don’t worry it won’t grow more than what I have it set for. I bought two of these so we could wear them at any time either as play, training, or punishment. You see I want to one day soon bury myself deep where I know no one has been before, taking you as only I ever will. I also crave to have you do the same to me.” Her fingers slid between Jane’s thighs feeling the abundance of heated liquid. “Hmm, you do like that.”

She gathered a handful of wetness massaging it around her woman’s virgin area while her other hand dipped the little finger into Jane’s center coating it in slippery goodness. Once well coated she slid the slim finger up into place and began to push lightly. “Relax into it love. God you are so beautiful when you shake from arousal for me. Oh see it is sliding in easily. Mmm, very nice.” Maura stroked firm ass cheeks as the finger slid firmly home the slim contoured base fitting nicely against Jane not allowing the finger to go all the way in.

Jane moaned as she felt the thing grow a little after it was fully seated. Man, Maura had a wicked imagination, but boy did she ever like it.

The Lady Alpha reached between her woman’s legs tapping the weight dangling above a highly sensitive clit at the same time the device in Jane’s ass grew again.

“Oh shit! God! Fuck!” The words tumbled out as Jane fought to hold position and not jump Maura and fuck her senseless.

The repercussions were instantaneous. A firm leather paddle began raining blows down as Maura’s free hand held Jane’s folded arms keeping her firmly in place. “I did warn you. I suppose you tough warriors are a bit stubborn.”

After what to Jane felt like fifty, but was probably no more than 20 hard swats Jane’s backside was on fire, however, so was her sex. She was ready to come undone and would have if Maura had continued.

“No climax for you yet, dear.” Maura moved up to her needy woman’s head. “Now I have experienced how good you are at cunnilingus twice this evening. However, I am very much in need again. Let’s see how well your fellatio skills are my love. Bring me to climax twice more with that lovely mouth of yours and I will be ready to give you a very long ride indeed. Then you might finally be allowed to orgasm.”

Shaking with desire Jane growled as she rose up on her hands and took the entire length of her wife’s ladykock deep into her mouth smirking to herself when the smaller woman cried out. This was Maura’s first experience wearing it, if the scent she was giving off wasn’t enough to let Jane know how turned on she was the tight grip on her scalp was. In only a few deep throated strokes Maura shouted out and Jane eagerly took all of her loves womanly ambrosia, yet she didn’t stop her actions. The Queen responded well when Jane kept the pressure up. She knew all the spots on the ladykock she liked best when Maura pleased her in the same manner. The smaller woman was now uncontrollably fucking her mouth as Jane swallowed around the kock using her tongue to stroke the sensitive spots. Minutes later the Lady Alpha cried out as she forcefully filled her wife’s well worked throat.

“Ahh! That is intense. No wonder you like it so much when I do it to you. This ladykock is incredible. I am very impressed with your stamina now that I am the one wearing it. Now that I know how it feels I am going to enjoy you wearing it even more.” Maura pulled Jane up to her kissing her deep. “You my love have a very talented mouth.” She kissed her once more before moving away. “Down on your elbows, love. It’s time to see how good this kock feels inside your hot pussy.” Maura deliberately used the naughty word knowing how Jane responded when she talked dirty. “I also want you up enough so that between the swaying of your breast and that weight you get a nice pull from those lovely clamps. They are magic too by the way, but I will let you know how a little later.”

She ran her hands down her wife’s back before moving between her legs from behind. Maura leaned over her woman pressing her breasts to the strong back enjoying the groan and the quivering coming from beneath her. Jane was fully giving herself to her tonight and she loved it. It was extremely intoxicating.

“So lovely and strong.” Maura said as she sat back up. She ran her fingers through drenched folds. “So wet. I should slide deep filling you with ease. No additional lubrication needed.” She ran her kock through the wetness making her lover groan and moan more for her. A sigh of pleasure was shared by both women as Maura began easing in an inch at a time before backing off and inching in again until all 8” of her kock was buried deep. She stilled to enjoy the wonderful feeling of her wife’s heat clinching tightly around her. Maura moved in slow long strokes drawing the pleasure out keeping her love on edge until Jane finally broke and began begging.

“God, Maura. Fuck me! Please just fuck me!” Her woman shouted into the bedding.

“All you had to do was beg dear.” Maura slapped her woman firmly on the ass and thrust forward hard and deep and kept thrusting in deep powerful strokes as Jane flew powerfully apart repeatedly beneath her. The Queen shifted position slightly making sure she hit Jane’s sweet spot and brought her to several more screaming orgasms.

The Lady Alpha pulled out without climaxing herself and laid on her back on the bed. “We aren’t done yet my strong warrior.” Maura ran her finger along a certain symbol on her harness and her kock grew to 10” and got thicker. “Ride me Jane. I want to orgasm with you above me riding my large hard kock.”

Fighting her shaking muscles Jane mounted her lady and moaned loudly as the large kock filled her. Between the larger size of her wife’s kock and the object in her ass she had never felt so full. She found she liked her new position and the control it gave her. Flexing her inner muscles she rode Maura for all she was worth and could tell the smaller woman was getting close as the grip on her thighs tightened and Maura’s arching hips came up harder to meet Jane.

Maura was determined to have Jane climax above her and with her. She whispered the magic words and smiled as her warrior screamed in unexpected climax throwing her head back as the clamps tightened and vibrated.

Jane fought to keep moving as her body was overcome with sensation, she felt Maura climax beneath her and felt the amazing feeling of her wife filling her with her special honeyed juices. She heard Maura whisper something and the clamps fell from her body throwing her over the edge once more as blood rushed back into her once clamped nips and clit. Jane rode out her high before collapsing boneless onto her wife who was still buried deep within her.

Pulling the chain from between them Maura tossed clamps onto the bedside table before wrapping her arms around her wife loving the delicious aftershocks squeezing her periodically. She ran her hands soothingly up the slick back loving the feel of Jane’s breasts pressed into her as they both caught their breath.

Soon Jane began nuzzling Maura’s neck. “That was the kinkiest thing I have ever done. You are one hot domme.” She lifted up enough to look her in the eyes. “I love you, sweetheart with everything in me.” The Laird kissed her wife till they were both breathless. “What a way to christen a new bed and home.” She grinned before moaning as she slowly slid to the side and off her wife’s softening kock.

“I love you too baby and you are so hot when you fight your Alpha down and become my willing submissive.” Maura kissed her mate hard before easing off the bed and heading to the bathroom. “Stay right there, sweetie.”

Maura removed the harness gently washing it up before putting it in their special trunk and retrieving a bowl of warm water, wash cloths, and a towel. Jane looked very relaxed and only moments from sleep when she returned. Maura eased up on the bed and after a few more whispered words the device in Jane’s backside shrank back down to the size of a pinky and easily slipped from her wife. Her lady sighed as Maura cleansed her with the warm fragrant liquid. The doctor had added a soothing ointment to the water.

After cleansing her well pleased wife Maura pulled the sheet from beneath Jane. She had thrown it over the bed earlier to protect the bedding from wet spots. She tossed it into the laundry chute along with the cloths and towels, before forcing Jane to lift up so they could get the bedding turned down enough for them to climb in. Pulling the sheet and comforter up over them both Maura pulled her wife to her, resting Jane’s head on her breast loving the way her mate automatically curled around her.

“I love you my King and Alpha.” Maura whispered as her eyes closed.

“I love you too, my Queen and Lady.” Jane replied sleepily before they both sighed in contentment and fell into sated sleep.

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Now I didn’t start out to write a saucy chapter it just kind of happened. I was having a few hormonal days when I wrote this. LOL Would love to hear what you think. Thanks again for reading! Until Next Time…Holly.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 31

It was nice to sleep in the next morning and have breakfast delivered as well. After an enjoyable shower and filling breakfast Jane and Maura shifted and made their way out of their quarters. Staff stopped what they were doing as the couple made their way down the main staircase. By the time the Alpha pair made it to the back lawn almost everyone in the household was gathered to see the black and white wolves of legend run at King’s Manor for the first time in thousands of years.

“You think our little purple friends will show back up? They flew away when we reached the outskirts of King’s Place.” Jane asked as she nudged Maura with her muzzle.

“I hope so. I miss having them around.” Maura rubbed against her dark wolf.

Word had spread to the village of their run and the rise above the Manor was full once again. A cheer went up as Jane led Maura out the back gate and across the field.

It felt so good to run free without worry of being caught by humans. They ran and played and even found a private spot to let their wolves enjoy one another. It was near noon when they emerged from the forest and saw Phantom, Amethyst, Zev, and Poni perched on a bush in the middle of the field.

When the wolves reached them the birds bowed before Phantom and Zev let out loud squawks before quieting. They seemed to be waiting for something. The wolves soon found out what when the field began to fill with hundreds if not thousands of purple Royals. All singing their happy songs of greeting for the returned King and Queen.

Those at the Manor and still upon the rise were spellbound as the famed wolves were surrounded by a huge flock of Royal birds. It was so rare to see just one, a being might see one once in a lifetime. Many pulled out COM mirrors to capture the amazing historical sight.

Jane felt a special connection with all the birds as she did the four who had been traveling with her. “My mate and I are honored to have so many loyal friends come out of hiding to show us their support. We look forward to working with you during our long tenure as Alpha’s of all Lycan kind.”

The birds all bowed as one before disappearing back into the trees. Only Phantom, Amethyst, Zev, and Poni remained behind. The two males perched on the black wolf’s back as the females perched on the white as they made their way back to the manor and up to their apartments. The birds flew to perches set-up in one window and to a tray of nuts, seeds, and berries along with a small dish of water.

Jane and Maura shifted back. Jane laughed. “Someone prepared for their arrival. Come babe lets cleanup and go down to the dining hall and see what they have to offer. I bet Jeremy and Emily will have loads of questions about all the Royals that surrounded us.”

Maura smiled, the morning had been really great and she was feeling frisky again and began pulling Jane to the shower to cleanup and have a little fun before lunch.

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Actually more than Jeremy and Emily asked about the Royals birds. The running of the black and white wolves and the flock of Royals was the big topic of conversation for many. As lunch was wrapping up Jane reminded the warriors of sparing practice.

After warming up the Laird faced off with Zeon, Marcus, Warren, Masdone, Nina, and Maxine. She fought them with different weapons, but saved hand-to-hand for General Poledio.

The General gave everything he had to the fight and consistently found himself in pain on the ground. He finally lost it shifting into wolfman form, not even attempting to save his clothes.

“Stand down.” The King ordered her warriors around her as they prepared to step in at the shift. Jane kept moving forcing the large grey wolfman to circle her as they faced off. “Poledio I will defeat you without shifting. You are allowing your pride to rule you right now. I advise you to stop now before you bring further dishonor on yourself. You are turning a simple sparring match into a challenge and you don’t want to do that. You are a good Hecation soldier. Stand down and go back to that. You will lose a true challenge. I am your Alpha in every way. I am your King. This challenge will be to my authority not a tournament challenge. I will be within my rights to kill you if I so choose if you continue.” The King didn’t want Poledio to take the fight that far.

“I have never been beaten in combat and though you carry the title of King you are still female. I am a better fighter than that jackal you faced in the tournament and you are using no weapon. I tried to be a General in your army, but you refused. That is a slap I cannot endure. I will prove how wrong you were in your decision.” The wolfman’s growling voice huffed out.

“You have already proven how right my decision was. I give you one last warning stand down or suffer the consequences.”

General Poledio decided to attack his King in direct challenge for supremacy. Jane dodged most of his blows as she delivered painful ones to the wolfman. She was careful to avoid his claws. The Laird never shifted as she systematically destroyed the wolfman. Poledio even tried to use a combination of will and strength on her. The Alpha ignored it taking Poledio down another notch. The grey wolfman never gave in until he was beat unconscious.

“Take him to a holding cell. No healers and only water and scraps in a trough. I want him afforded no visitors and no light. I will speak to him in a few days. He also gets no cot, blanket, or clothes, just a bucket in the corner of a dark cell. He needs to know the consequences of his actions. I will not be lenient on disloyalty or dishonorable challenges to my authority.” Jane turned to the Captains of the King’s and Queen’s Warriors. “Captain Warren, Captain Nina take him to the cell now and see my orders carried out.”     

They stood at attention putting fist to heart. “Yes, Alpha!” Was stated as one before the Captains took Poledio away with the assistance of a few of their men.

Jane turned to those around her. “Let this be a lesson to all of you that I take challenges to my authority seriously and I will not go so easy on the next challenger.” Her will came forward with her words and had all around bowing. “Poledio’s fate is now in his hands. He will either except me as his Alpha or challenge me to a death match. I hope his time in the cell helps him make the right decision.”

“Lt. Masdone, Lt. Maxine you now have the field.” The two bowed to her with fists over heart before Jane left the practice grounds. She had just entered her and Maura’s quarters when her mate sailed in.

Maura had chosen to not attend the fight and push the General further, but it hadn’t helped. “Let’s get you out of those clothes and let me look you over.” The healer ordered.

Jane did as her mate instructed. “I may have to kill him Maura. Some may think I am weak because I haven’t already. He challenged me, not in sparring, but a true Alpha challenge. He challenged my right to be King.” She explained all that happened as her mate looked her over.

“I see nothing a quick shift won’t take care of. That was impressive by the way. So few real injuries while staying in human form against a powerful wolfman. Now shift.” Maura watched as her mate shifted to wolfwoman then wolf, then back to human. Her injuries were nearly completely gone only a few pink healed places remained. “Good. Now wash up and dress while I fix you a snack. Fighting and shifting takes it out of you as does the anger you are experiencing.”

Once dressed and seated at the bar Jane devoured the food put before her.

“I know you don’t want to, but if Poledio chooses the death challenge my only advice is to make it as quick as possible. This is a part of our world now, however much we dislike it. The scarier and more deadly you prove to be will deter many from challenging you as the jackals did and as Poledio has done. Always remember I am here for you and support you fully. You are my King, my Laird, my Alpha, my mate, my wife, my soulmate, my love, and my best friend. I will always have your back and you will always find a safe haven in me.”

Standing Jane pulled her wife tightly to her. “I am so lucky to have you in my life Maur, you are my everything.” They stood for a longtime simply holding each other. “You want to join me in the billiards room to blow off a little steam?”

“I’m not really good at pool Jane. You know that.”

“Who said anything about you playing? I have a real need to see you writhing naked across a pool table while I pleasure you in numerous ways.” The Laird’s grin was proof of the many naughty thoughts going on in her head.

After much lovemaking that started in the billiards room and moved to the kitchen when they became hungry, then the shower to clean up their sticky mess, and finally the bed their day ended in their favorite fashion with them wrapped around one another’s sated bodies.

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The next two days went by quickly with meetings with Vineloch, Connie, the town Mayor, and other senior members of the household and the town and surrounding area. Jane and Maura were quickly getting up to speed on their new home and surroundings.

After lunch on the second day it was time to have a meeting with Poledio.

Jane visited the dungeons of her estate. They were rooms she had never in her life thought she would have in her home much less visit. Poledio was marched out of the cell area to a room that reminded the Laird of an ancient interrogation chamber.

The man was sat in a sturdy chair attached to the floor. While Jane remained leaning against the heavy door as if she had no cares in the world. “Poledio, do you now accept me as your Alpha?” The statement was made in a calm voice without inflection.

“I can’t, you are weak. Me still being alive proves your weakness. A real Alpha would have fought me to the death and killing me now as I am chained and weak from hunger will only prove your weakness. You were lucky the other day. I was tired from my previous sparring. I bet you won’t even do the deed at all now, just leave me in prison for years in an attempt to get me to reform my ways. That is weak human thinking. Thinking that will get any Lycan who follows you killed.” The man shouted.

“Get him a healer, food, a bath, and a cot.” She ordered Warren before addressing the prisoner. “It wasn’t me showing a need to reform you, but the need to allow a good soldier to calm down and think clearly about his actions. You acted rashly and let your pride get in the way on the practice field. Now you have had time to think, your challenge is clear. Please report any last wishes you would like to be carried out after your death to CPT’s Warren and Nina. They will write it down in a will for you. Your uniform minus weapons will be brought to you in two days. If you would like to speak with a religious figure that to can be arranged. We will meet in challenge in two days from this very moment. Please take this time to put your affairs in order. I promise I will make your death quick.” With that the King left the room.

XXXXX

 
News of the challenge spread like wildfire and because of the amount of individuals who began gathering around the estate in the hopes of seeing something it was decided that the fight would be moved to the tournament field outside of King’s Place. Jane was fine with that she was in no hurry to bring death into the Manor.

At two in the afternoon on the day of the fight Jane and Poledio approached the magical challenge circle. The Mayor of King’s Place announced the death challenge to all watching. The fight was also being broadcast over the mirror network of Hecation.

The King watched impassively as her opponent removed his uniform folding it neatly before stepping into the circle. Jane wore a black leather vest and pants with sturdy black leather boots. Her Band of Royalty shown on her arm.

Maura stood beside her in a sleeveless dress her Royal band shining as well. Purple Royals were perched all over the arena. “You gave him a chance Jane. End this as quickly as you can. Remember I am here for you as are many others.”  The Queen was referring to their warriors all decked out in new Royal uniforms showing they were either with the King’s warriors or the Queen’s. The King’s warriors wore black and silver, the Queen’s emerald green and silver.

Jeremy and Emily each had on Page tunics representing Jane and Maura. Most of the household of King’s Manor were in formation behind the warriors in their finest livery proving their loyalty to the Royal house.

Poledio had been boo’ed as he stepped into the circle and shifted into a large grey wolfman.

Jane squeezed her wife’s hand giving her a quick kiss. “I’ll be right back.” She sent before entering the circle. It sealed upon her entry and would stay sealed until one of the occupants died.

Poledio howled loud before rushing Jane. The King stood calmly not moving, though she was braced for impact if need be. When the wolfman was close enough Laird Raven moved with lightning speed hitting the charging warrior open palmed hard right over his heart. The force of the blow and his charge caused the wolfman to fly backwards and since he died on impact with the King’s hit from an exploded heart his body sailed through the now fallen magical barrier to land a good ten feet outside the challenge circle.

Jane had already recovered from the punch and left the circle joining her wife when those around her finally realized what had happened. Shouts of “King Raven”, “King Raven” began all around the arena as healers and the Mayor confirmed the death of Poledio even though it was obvious the now naked man was dead, his body had begun to shift back as soon as his heart burst.

Jane accepted her sword and dagger from her Page Jeremy. He seemed very proud to be her Page and not afraid of her in the least. That helped Jane immeasurably and even though she hated to celebrate a man’s death she raised her arm high in the air acknowledging the crowd and her victory.

The whole thing had become an impromptu festival and Jane and Maura gave their people leave for the rest of the day and night to enjoy it. Jane and Maura stayed no longer than they had to, to be polite and acknowledge the King’s supporters.

By the time they began to head home a few of the staff and warriors were ready as well. Jane was eager to see the day end and enjoy the nice meal that awaited them in their apartments, share a long hot soak in the tub with her wife before they sat together on the couch to see what all Hecation mirrorvision was like.

As darkness fully fell outside the window Jane had a beer in hand and Maura her glass of wine as they snuggled together on the couch in comfy pj’s. It was a nice ending to a crappy day.

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The next week instructors began to show up at the estate and both women’s nightly lessons in the realm of the Gods continued.

Many of the professors who showed up were what one would call a psychic speaker. They actually had the ability to make a brain absorb knowledge even on the subjects that one hated. That really came in handy for Jane with etiquette lessons and other courtly lessons. Some lessons the couple had together and some separate. It was a balancing act between their lessons and the duties of their positions. Jane was also preparing for the King’s Tournament that would be held in two month’s time. It was a full week long warrior event and festival that would showcase many more skills than single unhorsed combat. Jane was training against multiple opponents and also picked a squad of five to command in leadership competitions. She was also becoming skilled as a mounted warrior. She had come home very much bruised her first day of jousting practice, but between shifting and her lovely Maura’s healing touch she was ready the next afternoon to get battered again.

Maura was loving her lessons and learning new things, but like Jane the etiquette and court lessons were her least favorite. However, she did love the dance lessons she and Jane took together. Each of them knew a few dances, but were becoming very skilled at them all. It was quite the early morning workout.

A month after the instructors showed up Jane felt the shift within herself. Fenrir warned her it was approaching. If she was feeling it so was Maura. Jane used her COM mirror giving orders for their quarters to be fully stocked and that the second and third levels of the Royal wing would be off limits for the following week to 10 days. Usually, Heat cycles lasted 3-5 days, however since Maura and Jane’s cycle only happened once a year instead of 2-3 times a year theirs would be longer. There were stories passed down from the times of the first Lord Raven and Lady Snow of the intensity of their Heat cycles.

That morning Jane had worn the harness in relaxed only mode. She wanted to surprise Maura with it. They had both felt the heat coming like a gathering storm. The couple spent the morning giving last minute orders to their heads of staff and Captains.

There was a standing order not to disturb the Royal couple unless it was a dire emergency. Shortly after noon Jane felt the rush begin. It was like nothing she had ever felt before. Her body felt over heated everywhere and her clothes felt heavy and uncomfortable on her skin. Jane ran into the throne room closing the door behind her. The second and third floor of the Royal wing had been evacuated and magical barriers put up that would allow no one to enter them except Laird Raven and Lady Snow. Once the door closed Jane began hastily stripping her clothes working hard not to simply rip them off.

“Maura! Where are you? I need you!” Jane’s hand was busy activating her harness and she quickly became fully erect and felt the node grow as it entered her.

“I am here Jane!” Maura cried as she ran from her private office into the throne room. The Queen was already gloriously naked.

The two women clashed together their mouths devouring, their hands roaming, and grasping. Laird Raven growled as she picked her Lady up firmly gripping her lush backside and bringing her down fully on her ladykock as the smaller woman wrapped her legs tightly around the warrior pulling her deep. Jane stood legs braced apart for balance using her superior strength to raise and lower her wife fast and hard on her length. Maura was doing all she could to help, equally desperate in her need. Their first two orgasms came in quick succession where they stood before Jane moved over to the thrones and sat down in hers.

Maura immediately shifted her legs into position and began riding her King with all she had. They came twice more and their bodies were still on fire. Their need for one another nowhere near sated. Jane stood lifted Maura from her placing the smaller woman on her knees on the Queen’s throne. “Hold on to the back.” The Alpha ordered as she entered her woman from behind. The mating was incredible and they came several more times before their minds were clear enough to try and make it up to their apartment where food and soft surfaces were available.

The following ten days had been intense. They had fucked, they had made love, and they had indulged in fantasies. The couple was glad their Heat cycle only came once a year or they just might kill each other.

They had taken turns wearing the harness though Maura enjoyed being on the receiving end more than Jane. Neither woman was an anal virgin any longer. They had given that to one another during a few of their lovemaking sessions. During a few of their kinky bouts both had experimented with slipping their whole hand into each other. Jane had even collared Maura once and they had an intense D/s fantasy scene. They spent lots of time without toys or harness, bringing each other great pleasure with mouth, tongue, teeth, fingers, hands, their bodies writhing together as they locked repeatedly as one.

The one thing that rode along with their incredible need for each another was also their love, passion, and trust in one another. They were never heedless in their sexual frenzy. Their partner’s pleasure and welfare was always uppermost in their minds.

The barrier spell broke as soon as the Heat cycle ended. Jane barely had the energy to carry her wife from the shower to their bed. Maura passed out as they were toweling off.

Jane carried her to their bed climbing in beside her and curling protectively around her mate to keep her warm. She had no idea where the covers were. She was surprised there were still pillows on the bed.

Jane heard knocking at their apartment door and barely managed a slurred “Come in” as she felt Cookie, Nina, and Connie’s minds on the other side of the door. She was sound asleep seconds later.

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Connie, Cookie, Vineloch, Warren, and Nina all felt it when the barrier dropped indicating the end of the Royal couples Heat cycle or phase. They knew because they were the five heads of the Royal household staff. Warren and Nina led the warriors, Vineloch was head steward, Connie head housekeeper, and Cookie head of the Royal couples personal staff.

It was decided the three women would enter the second and third floor of the Royal wing. They were sure Jane and Maura wouldn’t want to be seen by the men, now that they knew Vineloch was a male and even though Warren was gay. Once it was ascertained the second floor was clear of Royal personages a carefully selected clean-up crew was allowed in to put the floor back to rights.

Cookie knocked loudly on the door of the King and Queen’s personal quarters, even with their supersensitive hearing they barely heard the mumbled “Come in.” from their King.

Opening the door the women stood in the doorway staring. It was quite obvious an energetic good time was had everywhere in the apartment they saw. They carefully entered looking in every room, but the master suite. They were saving it for last. No room had gone untouched. Easing the master bedroom door open they saw the Royal couple cuddled naked together in the middle of the large bed, Jane wrapped protectively around Maura.

Cookie moved into the room picking up the comforter tossing it over them. “They must have been showering or just finished when the lethargy caught them.” Cookie tutted. “They don’t need to be sleeping with wet hair like that.”

Connie agreed and disappeared into the bathroom coming back with two towels. “I’ve spelled them for a short bit, they will suck up all the water from their lovely hair.” The two older women with Nina’s help managed to dry the sleeping women’s hair.

“They really need to be sleeping on clean linens as well. We will clean up their quarters and take care of that last. Let’s think on it while we clean.” Connie said as they left the bedroom closing the door behind them.

“We will need help with all this.” Nina was looking around. Things were in major disarray, but nothing appeared broken.

“I will call Millie and Maddie in to help. They can be trusted not to speak of what we see here. Rumors are normal, but no actual details should escape anyone we allow in.” Cookie added.

“Warren, Max, Evie, Ashley, Tony, and Alexi can help and also keep quiet.” Nina added.

“Vineloch and a few of our senior staff will also hold their tongues.” Connie offered. “But I think Cookie, myself, Millie, and Maddie should take the master suite. I am the head housekeeper and Cookie and her daughters are the couple’s personal female servants. I think that is appropriate and all we need to clean up is the master suite and bath. Though we may have to have help later with the bedding.”

The women called in their helpers. Evie whistled. “This is even worse than their initial mating phase. I helped clean-up after that one too.” She laughed. “They are really hot for one another.”

The talking was kept low as the place was put back together and the kitchen restocked. The master suite and bath were also put to rights, only the bed remained.

“What if we wrapped them each in a sheet and lifted them out of the bed quickly changed the bottom sheet and pillows and put them back in the bed. We could add the other bedding over them once their settled.” Maddie offered.

“We could try it. Maxine is big enough she could lift Jane and Nina or Ashley can help her while Evie and Alexi can easily take care of lifting Maura.” Connie tapped her chin in thought.

That decided on they called the other women inside and explained their plan. However, they reached a snag when they tried to separate Maura from a sleeping Jane. A dangerous growl emanated from the kingly woman as her hold tightened and a wave of Alpha power pushed them all off the bed to the floor.

Evie began laughing as did the others as Warren and Vineloch ran into the room. “The King protects her mate even while dead to the world asleep.” She stood. “We are going to have to lift them together or let them sleep as is.”

“Warren, Max, Alexi, Evie, Ashley, and Nina are our strongest with the longest reach. You six lift them together and with the clean sheet over them while we quickly change the bedding. It really needs it.” Cookie instructed.

The task was done with lots of giggles and chuckles, but thankfully no one dropped the couple.

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Jane and Maura slept for 48 hours straight waking with sore bodies, hungry stomachs, and bladders ready to burst. Jane waved Maura to the master bath as she headed to the guest bath down the hall.

Maura met her in the kitchen wearing a robe tossing Jane hers before they worked together raiding the cabinets and icebox.  While they ate the dark haired woman turned on the COM mirror to check the day and time. Their heat phase had lasted a full 10 days and they had been asleep for another two.

She pulled her wife onto her lap. “I hope I was never too rough with you Maur.” Jane nuzzled her loves soft neck as she rubbed her hands up and down her back.

“Not even a moment Jane. You were magnificent and I look forward to repeating the things we did only when we are not in heat and not all at once.” Maura kissed her warrior with all the love she felt inside.

“Mmm, it was all pretty amazing and I agree with you totally on doing all of it again. You bent over naked on your throne was really hot.” Jane kissed Maura again giving as good as she got. “Let’s shift and run before we have to jump back into lessons, training, and Royal duties.”

After one more quick peck the smaller woman bounded to her feet. “Sounds like an excellent idea.”

…..

Everyone noticed as the black and white wolves gracefully moved through the Manor and out a rear door for a run.

Life returned to its normal hectic routine the next three weeks with the added expectations and preparations for the King’s Tournament. The vendors, spectators, and participants began showing up nearly three weeks before The King’s Tournament of Hecation was to start in the hopes of getting the best places to set-up shop or camp. Halfway through the second week before the tournament began the usual vendor, spectator, and warrior fields were full and more fields were having to be rented from area land owners. It seemed that the King’s Tournament in King’s Place with the famed King Raven actually participating was a huge draw.

The Mayor had informed Laird Raven that King’s Place was making profits hand over fist even with the additional field rents. Jane was glad the area was prospering from the event, but as the list of participants increased she began to really wish she was ranked much higher in the standings. Her win in every category in her first tournament put her about halfway up the list of competitors in those events, but on the ones she had never participated in before in competition she was at the very bottom and would have to work her way up as she had done before.

Plenty of healers were present so Maura wouldn’t have to pitch in except on dire cases. Then the Angel of Mercy would be called to see if she could help heal the patient. The last two weeks before the tournament all of Jane’s focus was on training for the tournament challenges. Her Royal lessons had been temporarily halted until afterwards. Even her nightly lessons were in preparation for the event.

“I have full confidence in you young one. I believe you can win the whole tournament as you did the last. You are a much greater warrior now and you have more confidence in yourself. You have trained hard and met every challenge. Believe in yourself and fight with your head, heart, and iron will and you will do magnificently.” Lord Fenrir counselled her the night before the opening ceremonies.

“I will do my best to prove to all Hecation that you and the rest of the Heavenly realm were not mistaken in blessing me as the Alpha of all Alphas.” Jane stood straight. She had fully accepted her position and was determined to be the best Alpha, Laird, and King she could be. Just as she was determined to be the best wife and mate to Maura that she could.

“I know you will.” He kissed her on the forehead as did Lady Vivienne.

“You will do well, young one.” The Goddess stated before also kissing Maura on the forehead. “Take good care of your warrior, she has a hard week ahead.”

“I will, my Lady.” Maura promised. She too had fully accepted her role as Jane’s Queen and all that it entailed and would fulfill her duties as Queen to the best of her abilities. As Jane’s wife and mate the strong warrior would always be a top priority for her.

“You both are doing all of us up here in the Ethereal Realms proud. Now go rest, you have a big day ahead when you wake.” Lord Fenrir waved them off as the world around them floated away and their consciousness’s rejoined their sleeping forms.

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Well I thought here would be a good place for a chapter break. I hope you enjoyed this update. Until Next Time… Holly

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 32

Jane woke refreshed and full of energy ready for the busy day ahead. The festival would officially begin that day even though a festival type atmosphere had gripped the area for the past few weeks as everyone arrived early in preparation for the fair and tournament. It would also be the last day to sign-up for the King’s Tournament, the deadline being noon. The opening ceremonies were scheduled to begin around three that afternoon. The first of the warrior events would begin at eight the following morning. The day would be Jane’s last physically easy one for at least two weeks possibly more if they weren’t able to fit all of the competitions into the already expanded tournament. There had been record breaking numbers of warriors signing up for the King’s Tournament and the whole festival grew from one week to two weeks in an attempt to fit all the competitors into the planned events. The large numbers would make for a more competitive field for the spectators to enjoy, but also a more grueling one for the warriors, especially for those who were not already ranked in the upper brackets of the competition.

The Laird leaned up on an elbow on her side to take in the lovely woman by her side as the sun peaked through the drapes beaming across Maura giving her an angelic glow. The sleeping woman simply took the Alpha’s breath away. Jane moved down the bed and began placing light kisses up her wife’s sexy legs to her silky thighs that instinctively opened for her causing the dark haired woman to smile proudly. Starting lightly her tongue began to lap at tender folds that were quickly plumping up beneath her ministrations and dampening with her Angel’s own delicious nectar. It wasn’t long before the sleeping woman’s breathing changed and she woke with a passion filled cry as her body rolled through climax. The pleasure only continued to grow from that first peak as Jane’s long fingers filled Maura as her lips, teeth, and tongue continued their pleasant duties. The honeyed ginger’s hands moved to grip dark locks tightly as she reached climax number two swiftly followed by number three before the tall woman eased back letting her love ride the pleasure out with gentle caresses.

After licking her fingers clean and wiping her mouth Jane kissed her way up her mate’s sexy body to hover over Maura with a cocky smile. “Good morning, love.” She was unable to keep the huge pleased yet loving smile off of her lovely face as she looked down at her sated lover.

“Good morning indeed.” Maura panted out as she worked to catch her breath. “I don’t know what brought that on, but it was an amazing way to wake up, dear.”

“You just looked so sexy in the morning light peeking through the window I couldn’t help myself. I had to worship my glowing Angel.” Jane leaned down kissing the corner of her breathless mate’s mouth.

“Hmm. I love being worshiped by you my love. I am always available for you to worship.” The fair haired beauty grinned.

“That is very good information to know.” Jane kissed her wife once more before bouncing out of bed. “I feel kind of pumped today and maybe a little nervous as well, but not as much as I used to. I think I might be getting used to everyone staring all the time at least a little bit. Although I am very much dreading how grueling the next few weeks are going to be. I’m also looking forward to further proving myself to everyone in Hecation. If I can come out on top in so many events and against such a vast number of opponents it will make fewer beings question my abilities as a warrior, leader, and Alpha. I want to put a stop to as many non-tournament challenges as I can and this is a great way to do so. Also, warriors from other provinces will be fighting in this tournament. Apparently this is one of the most popular tournaments in all of Undrehiel. Those from outside Hecation who are able to receive passage into the hidden province won’t be able to speak about us once they leave Hecation, but they will once we claim our Thrones at the Palace of the Lycans. Any positive tales of my prowess as a warrior and Alpha they can then share can only help strengthen my reputation and hopefully continue to lessen the amount those who will wish to challenge me and mine once we come out fully into this new world.”

“All good points, sweetheart.” Maura smirked at her excited wife. “I also believe you simply like to kick a little ass in a tournament setting where life and death aren’t generally on the line. You are a very competitive being my dear and it seems tournaments such as the one that starts today brings that out in you.” She sat up scooting to the edge of the bed enjoying the way her mate watched her with constantly hungry eyes. “I must admit I do enjoy watching you be all badass out on the field. It really gets me worked up.” The ginger stood moving around her mate swaying her hips seductively as she ran her hand across her wife’s firm sexy backside as she passed. “Why don’t you come join me in the shower and I can payback that lovely morning wake-up call before we have to go be all Royal for the public? I have a distinct need to taste you while I look up along your sexy wet body as you come apart for me.” Maura continued on across the room disappearing into the master bath with a smile on her face as her enhanced sense of smell picked up the lovely aroma of fresh arousal from her excited mate.

With a growl Jane followed her sexy wife truly loving the fact that her mate had such a thing for shower sex. It had become one of her favorites as well.

…..

After a very enjoyable shower the couple dressed, and joined the rest of the Manor’s household in the main dining hall for breakfast. It was a festive atmosphere as everyone was excited about all the events and revels that would be going on the next few weeks. They also looked forward to watching their King and her warriors compete.

Jane sat back in her chair with a sigh. “The cooks out did themselves again this morning. I still can hardly believe how much I can eat now. If I ate like this before I became a Lycan I would have been the size of a house.”

Grinning Maura nodded in agreement. She had finished eating her breakfast five minutes earlier. “I would too, but our new more powerful selves needs much more fuel to run efficiently. Especially yours, Alpha of all alphas.” The golden streaked redhead leaned over kissing her mate on the cheek causing many in the dining hall to smile happily at the loving couple. “Now are you ready to go? We are supposed to visit the fair with Jeremy, Emily, and Millie before the opening ceremonies this afternoon.”

“I’m ready. We only need to see if Millie and the kids are ready to go.” Jane smirked when she heard said kids excited voices.

“We’re ready Laird Jane!” Emily called as she appeared between the two women’s chairs, her brother not far behind with his wooden sword on his hip like Jane’s sword was on hers.

“We ate early so our breakfast would be far enough in our bellies we could have snacks at the fair. But Millie said not too much or we would make ourselves sick on rides and things.” Jeremy’s smile was huge as excitement danced in his eyes.

“I should have thought of that, maybe the walk over will help me make a little room in my belly for some of those snacks.” Jane really enjoyed seeing the joy and happiness in the two children’s eyes. They had been thriving under the loving care of Millie and The Millers. Millie had approached her and Maura only a few days earlier about officially adopting the duo. Jeremy and Emily had been happy and agreeable to the arrangement and the paperwork had already been filed. After the tournament Jane herself was going to perform the magical adoption ceremony for the little family. Millie had already asked if Jane and Maura would be the children’s godparents or Undrehiel’s equivalent. The couple had readily agreed since they had grown to care so greatly for the boy and girl.

“I’m sure you’ll have plenty of room for snacks dear, but like the children you can’t have too much or you’ll make yourself sick.” Maura’s tone was serious as she spoke, yet her eyes were twinkling with merriment as her love only groaned pouting like the children had.

Jane stood scooping Emily up in her arms causing the girl to squeal. “Let’s get going then. There’s lots to see before the opening ceremonies for the tournament.” She offered her hand to assist Maura to her feet as she shifted Emily to her hip.

The Lady Alpha felt eagerness coursing through herself as well. It was always more fun and entertaining experiencing such things with her Jane than it ever had been before she met her. Having the children along simply added a new pleasant element to the mix. Maura readily accepted the hand up. “Then let us be off my Laird. Millie and I wouldn’t want to have to make you three children wait any longer.” She teased her powerful woman who really could be a big kid at heart sometimes as she was at that moment.

Their close friends nearby as well as some of the other Manor household were all laughing enjoying their Alphas’ antics. It was good to see being royalty wasn’t changing the couple’s down to earth demeanors.

As the powerful couple walked to the village along with a vast number of the Manor’s residents, Marcus who was walking at Jane’s right picked up Jeremy putting him on his shoulders so the boy could see over the crowd to view the colorful sites in the dell below as they topped the rise from the valley the Manor occupied.

The boy whooped at his new unobscured vantage point.

“Would you like to ride up on my shoulders?” Jane asked the small girl she still carried.

“Oh yes. I will be able to see everything just like Jeremy.” Emily’s voice was full of excitement.

Sweeping her hair to the side the tall strong female alpha easily maneuvered the girl into place glad the child was wearing trousers that day so she could more easily enjoy all the activities the fair offered.

The adults laughed as the two children high fived each other from their lofty perches as they cheered excitedly.

Maura smiled at her wonderful mate enjoying the look of happiness in her love’s eyes. Jane really was great with children and she knew in the years to come Jane would make a wonderful parent, but that time was a years away. There was too much to be done in the near future and things would be extremely volatile when they openly took their places in Undrehiel and as well as in the realm of man. Pregnancy and babies would have to wait for a while plus it would serve Jane and Maura better to have time together as wives before they took on also being mothers. They had many lifetimes ahead of them they did not need to rush into becoming parents it just didn’t seem right at the moment.

The festival visitors cheered and waved as the Royal couple made their way down the thoroughfares visiting game and food booths. The Laird even went into the fun house and haunted house with the two children that the people soon learned were the Royal couple’s pages. The powerful leader also rode a few of the bigger rides with the children or just the boy when the girl was too small to ride. The Laird and her Lady rode the Ferris wheel together as well as the Tunnel of Amour. As the day progressed the crowd of children around the couple rose much as it had around Jane at the last festival.

The citizens of Hecation who were attending liked how personable and approachable the King and Queen were even with the guards around them. A little after noon the royal party sat in an outdoor section of a restaurant on the outskirts of the town that was packed as were the rest of the town and festivals eateries. The group enjoyed watching the people moving up and down the streets in their colorful clothes and the travelling entertainers singing, dancing, performing magic, and other various entertainments. It had been a grand day and soon they would be heading to where the parade was to begin. For the first time in a very long time the Royal float that started the parade would not just be in commemoration and tribute of the first King and Queen, but also in honor of the current King and Queen who would actually be riding on the float. Jeremy and Emily were excited because they were going to be joining Jane and Maura on the float along with some of the King’s and Queen’s warriors.  

Members of the royal household had delivered the clothing that the King and Queen, as well as their pages and royal guards, would be wearing on the float. Millie and Maddie assisted Jane and Maura in dressing and with hair and make-up. They also assisted Jeremy and Emily into their page tunics. Three of the King’s warriors and three of the Queen’s warriors would be on the float as well. Warren, Maxine, and Ashley from Jane’s warriors and Gil, Nina, and Tony from Maura’s, all wearing their black and silver or green and silver formal uniforms. Those remaining of the King and Queen’s warriors wore their basic dress uniforms representing whichever of the groups they were members of. Jane and Maura wore outfits very similar to the ones they wore the first time that they arrived in Hecation.

“You look stunning as always, my dear.” Jane lifted her lovely wife’s hand kissing it before helping her up onto the float and to the top tier where they would be perched with Emily and Jeremy just a step below them. Their guards would be around the lowest tier of the float and more would be walking along the sides just in case. Millie was on a lower tier also dressed in a royal uniform of colors representing both the King and the Queen, she was mostly on the float to help watch over her children.

The Mayor stopped by their float. “Are you ready you’re Highnesses?”

Jane looked around her, silently asking her people if they were ready receiving nods from them all. “We’re ready when everyone else is.”

“Well let me hop up on my parade float and we will be on our way.” The Mayor climbed up on the colorful platform behind the Royal float and the marching musicians in front of the parade began moving and playing announcing the coming cavalcade.

Jane and Maura smiled and waved as everyone cheered as they passed. It was a very odd experience for them both, it really brought home how popular they were becoming at least in Hecation. “Do you think it will be this bad when we become known to the rest of Undrehiel?” Jane sincerely hoped not.

“I wouldn’t doubt it, dear. Especially when tales of the things that have been happening here leave Hecation and I am sure more will probably happen to bring us into the limelight, especially you sweetheart. King Raven is a major hottie and a badass to boot.” Maura chuckled as her wife groaned aloud as well as over their mind link.

The children and Millie enjoyed throwing necklaces and candy to the crowd that they passed while the guards on the float kept their senses fully open only having to turn away a few zealous fans from attempting to climb up onto the moving platform.

Jane was very glad when they finally reached the arena and she and her party were able to climb down off the float and take their place in the Royal box to watch the rest of the parade as it crossed the field and then the shows of the opening ceremonies. They all had a good time the rest of the evening and into the night before making their way back to King’s Manor for an early night because Jane especially had an early and difficult morning ahead the following day.

…..

Jane was glad that she made it to the middle ranks for most of the unmounted individual competitions, because she wasn’t sure how well she would be hanging in there if she had to start at the bottom in everything. There was more unmounted individual events in the King’s tournament than in the first one she competed in and more competitors to boot. So far she was able to easily defeat all of her opponents, but as the tournament wore on she became more tired during the day of competition as she seemed to be in constant motion moving rapidly from event to event and her opponents gradually grew more skilled.

“You’re doing great Jane. Most everyone today and for the next few days are all unranked or low ranked fighters, stay vigilant and you should be okay. I hate to say it, but the competition is only going to get fiercer the longer the tournament continues. Nobody predicted how popular the King’s tournament was going to be this year, but I have every faith in you baby. Just hang in there and I will give you a great rubdown when we get home like I have every night so far.” Maura purred reassuringly through her mind.

“I will hold you to that promise, babe. I will surely be needing it.”  Was the tall woman’s brief reply before she was once again called onto the field to battle it out with another competitor.

 …..

The long tournament continued on with Jane working her way steadily through the competition proving herself over and over again in the many events be they on horseback, on foot, and even in the leadership of a squad of five trials, otherwise known as Melees. Her people were also doing well and her and Maura’s warriors were all still in the competition too as the final days approached. When the final competitions began Jane found herself facing many of her own warriors for first place, but over and over again the fatigued King and Laird battled to the end claiming victory over all challengers. Her popularity as well as Maura’s had grown even more as each day of the tournament was televised, so to speak, over the mirror network of Hecation. Maura had performed more acts of healing that saved the lives of warriors thought to surely die from their injuries solidifying her ‘Angel of Mercy’ title and her place as the life giving light to her deadly King’s dark.

They were finally down to the last day of the warrior competitions and the final event. Jane had once again stood firm and won all competitions so far, but many were worried or excited depending on who you were, about the last match. The event was old fashioned jousting on horseback and Jane’s opponent was huge and on an equally huge and strong horse in order to hold the large male. Her challenger seemed to be a rare crossbreed creature of the pairing of a Minotaur and a Lycan and carried more human features than a true Minotaur and wasn’t as big as one either, yet he also would never be able to pass as a human. The warrior had never been defeated in the joust and many wondered if this would be the King’s first defeat of her short, yet undefeated tournament career or if it would be the first joust defeat for the warrior known only as Lycaur.

Jane sat gathering herself spooling her strength from her inner well that had been severely tapped during the long grueling tournament. She felt her body loosening as her tired and sore form was filled with the strength from her inner well of power. Her meditation was cut short as Marcus placed a lance in her gauntlet covered hand. Jane prayed she could unseat Lycaur on the first pass and didn’t go flying herself, but doubted it was going to be that easy or painless.

“Stay focused Jane. I know you can do this. You will remain undefeated this day, don’t focus on his overall size. Remember you only have to hit him in that sweet-spot and pop him out of his seat, and remember no matter what that I love you and am extremely proud of you. Now go kick some Lycaur ass and cement your badass reputation across all of Hecation that is watching.” Maura sent waves of love, confidence, and reassurance to her wife over their private mental link.

Jane smiled as she closed the visor of her helm. “Thanks babe. I love you too, my Angel.” With that she kicked her own powerful horse into a gallop as the flag was dropped charging towards her large opponent focusing on that sweet spot as she had many times before in practice as well as during the tournament to get her to the final joust. The thunder of her horse’s hooves on the hard packed earth filled her ears along with that of the roar of the crowd. As she neared her challenger the pounding sound of his horse’s hooves grew louder joining the cacophony of sounds that became a sort of white noise in Jane’s ears as she and her opponent closed in on one another before she thrust her lance forward seeing it shatter upon the armor of her target sending him slamming back in his saddle. Almost at the same moment the dark haired female warrior felt the earth-shaking impact of a lance slamming into her own armor as the lance also shattered spraying wood shards around her as she was slammed rearwards in her own saddle, but Jane held tight with her legs to her horse as she sped past the opposing warrior.

The crowd was on their feet going wild as both warriors turned their horses to head back to their starting posts throwing down the remains of their broken lances to their pages or assistants and nodding to one another as they passed each other.

“Are you okay, Jane? It looked like he hit you pretty hard.” Maura’s worried mental voice filled her mind.

“It hurt like a bitch! I think Lycaur hits almost as hard as that stupid creature from the fucking demon realm. I literally feel like I was just hit by a speeding Mac truck! I only hope I made him feel the same way.” Jane wished she could rub the sting out of where she had been hit, but she had to sit tall in her saddle and act like she was unaffected by the powerful slam she took.

“I’m sorry it hurts so bad sweetheart. If it makes you feel any better it looked like you slammed Lycaur back in his saddle even more than he did you. Just stay focused on hitting that sweet spot and staying in your own saddle and if it comes down to a draw and you have to sword fight on horseback or on the ground I know you can take him. There is no one better than you with a sword in their hands.” Once again Maura sent waves of love, confidence, and reassurance to her wife and mate.

Jane sighed in contentment as she was once again reminded just how lucky she was to have Maura in her life as her wife and mate. The dark haired woman settled her mount and rolled her shoulders trying to work some of the soreness out as she was given a new lance and prepared to charge down the lists towards her opponent once more.

Her proud horse was just as eager as she was once the flag was dropped and horse and rider rushed across the field as one in pure power and speed as they advanced, Jane once more smashing her lance hard enough into just the right spot on her adversary to shatter her lance and send him completely laying back across his horses hindquarters, nevertheless Lycaur held on keeping his saddle and hold of his own shattered lance. Jane had once again been thrown back into her saddle by the heavy blow, but stayed mostly upright and not laid out like Lycaur had been and she easily kept hold of her splintered lance. They circled back to their own starting places once more for the final joust.

Jane’s shoulder was throbbing, but she was determined to end the match without it going to swords. She wanted to prove she could pop the behemoth out of his saddle as no one before her had ever managed to do. The Laird wanted to send Lycaur flying.

Maura didn’t speak before Jane’s final run, only sending her positive feelings and love as before. Taking the final lance from her page the Laird settled herself readily in her saddle and gripped her reigns keen to charge as soon as the flag was dropped. Jane and her steed stormed as one down the lane once the flag was lowered, the female warriors focus absolute as she raised just so in her saddle and shifted her seat for extra power preparing for her final assault. King Raven’s lance raced out smashing into that perfect spot and with a slight extra flick of her jarred wrist Jane sent the large warrior flying as his own lance hit her armored shoulder, but skittered off unbroken. His stallion rearing unaccustomed to his rider falling from his back. The Laird steered clear as the crowd went wild chanting for King Raven as the Laird raised her arm holding the remains of the shattered lance in her hand high in celebration.

Jane tossed the broken lance down to Jeremy as she felt and then saw Maura rapidly approaching. The King calmed her mount as she leaned down and easily scooped her love up off the ground in one smooth motion much to the delight of the crowd before settling the fair haired woman neatly across her lap as Maura clasped her warrior’s face in her hands and claimed Jane’s mouth in a searing kiss as reward for the champion’s hard won victory. Everyone was cheering wildly at the display and the further proof of the prowess of the powerful King both on the field of battle and off.

“I really like when you reward me like this and we get cheers for it.” Jane teased as the kiss continued.

Maura’s grip on her mate tightened fractionally. “Have I mentioned how turned on it makes me when you are all Alpha warrior and I am really liking the whole armored knight look on you. I am making sure I have pictures of you dressed like this and fighting to hang up in my study.”

The couple pulled apart and waved at the crowd before Jane lifted Maura securely to her body and easily dismounted from her warhorse as Warren held his head. The King moved like her armor weighed nothing at all. The Royal couple moved as one towards Lycaur as he was now standing from his fall after a healer had checked him over.

He bowed with fist over his chest as Jane and Maura neared. Laird Raven put her fist to chest along with a simple nod of her head in acknowledgement and the large being stood towering over Jane’s considerable height by at least a foot and a half. “My King I have not been hit so hard or unseated since I was a very young warrior learning to joust. Facing you has been an honor as well as a humbling experience.” He admitted in a deep gravelly rumbling voice.

“I have to say that your hits were the most powerful I have felt during a joust and it took a lot to keep my seat with the blows you delivered. Thank you for the mighty challenge you offered here today.” Jane extended her hand for a handshake, her hand completely disappearing in his massive four fingered paw. The crowd cheering once more at the display of comradery and sportsmanship.  “I read he is a good being and intelligent. He is not currently serving anyone in a warrior capacity and his companion who travels with him is also an odd mix of beings like him and good with magic. I think they could be good individuals to recruit. What do you think?” Jane sent privately to her mate.

“I feel the same. I will let you extend the offer dear since he carries you in such high esteem as does his companion.” Lady Snow smiled up at the large male. “You gave a fine showing of yourself today. It was an honor to watch such a fine warrior compete alongside my mate on the field of battle.” Maura nodded to the half Lycan.

“Thank you for your kind words, my lady.” He bowed to her with what was most likely a smile on his interesting face.

“If you and your companion are amenable and don’t have any other obligations I would be interested in discussing a few opportunities with the two of you after the tournament and fair are over. If either of you or both of you might be interested please present yourselves at my home once this craziness has all passed.” Jane proposed.

Lycaur looked shocked at the offer. “We would be honored to serve such a worthy King and her lady. You will be seeing us both the day after all of the festivities are over, you’re Majesty.” He was definitely smiling moments later when he took his leave.

“I think they will make a good addition to our troop, especially with some of them leaving to go back to the human realm soon.” Maura commented as they made their way toward the Royal tent so she could assist Jane in removing her armor and give her a good going over with her healer’s eyes.

“I feel much the same.” For her part Jane was looking forward to sitting down or even lying down for a few minutes before the award ceremonies began.

R&I/R&I/R&I/R&I/R&I

 I hope I did okay in this update. Please drop me a line in that little review box and let me know what you think. Thanks again for all of you who have stuck with me on this journey thus far and to those who may be new to reading my writing. Until Next Time…Holly