BtQC – Chapter 27
They stayed like that for several seconds as their breathing slowed and the passions subsided. As Brenna lowered her leg and Garan slipped from inside her, he caught her face in his hands and kissed her again, slowly and deeply. They looked into each other’s eyes and Garan pulled away slightly, chuckling.
“You have ensnared me, witch,” he said.
“We are soulbound,” she said simply, and he knew it was true. “And,” she sighed and began to smooth down her hair and straighten her dress, “we should get back before we are missed.”
Garan pulled her close, ostensibly to re-lace the back of her gown, but more as an excuse to hold her in his arms once again. He kissed her neck behind her ears under the pretense of leaning closer to get a better look at the laces and she chuckled. “I don’t think anyone misses us,” he said.
“Her Majesty will notice that we’ve left and besides, you’ve promised her a dance,” Brenna said as she straightened his shirt collar and began refastening his doublet.
“Aye, so I did. We will finish this later then,” he said, catching her hands and bringing them to his lips, turning them so he could kiss each palm.
She car essed his face again and smiled. “I look forward to it.”
He took her hand then and they moved through the door and back down the darkened hallway. As they neared the Great Hall, Brenna heard a woman’s high-pitched laughter and saw the door to the hall open. Garan pulled Brenna back against the wall into the shadows, his finger to his lips and his eyes flashing with mirth. Evidently, someone else was slipping away for a tryst in the dark with their lover, Brenna thought. Two figures stumbled through the door and into the hall, laughing and shushing as they pawed at each other’s clothes, completely oblivious to Garan and Brenna. With a mixture of dismay and amusement, Brenna realized the two lovers were Yvette and Victice, and from the looks of it they had both enjoyed plenty of wine throughout the course of the evening. They could hardly stand without leaning on the wall and one another for support, and Yvette squealed and tittered loudly as Victice grabbed her from behind and sank down onto the floor with her on his lap.
“Viccy, say it again!” Yvette demanded with a giggle, turning to face him and thrust her ample breasts in his face. He grunted and buried his face in her cleavage, fumbling with her skirts. Yvette sat back on her haunches and unfastened his breeches. He groaned and reached for her, but she pulled away from him, getting down on her hands and knees with her lips mere inches from the tip of his cock. She licked her lips and looked up at him through her lashes. “Say it again, Viccy,” she purred.
Victice wound his fingers through her hair, straining to pull her mouth closer, but she giggled again and lightly kissed the head of his cock, eliciting a gasp from him. “I want to hear you say it,” she repeated.
Victice looked down at her through bleary eyes, trying to focus. “When I am king, you will be my queen,” he slurred, raising his hips to try to reach her.
“Mmm, yes,” Yvette cooed, running her tongue up and down the length of his shaft. “Again.”
“Victice threw his head back, pulling her mouth down onto him. “You will be my queen,” he repeated through ragged breaths and moans as Yvette set about pleasuring him.
Brenna looked up at Garan in dismay, but he was trying to stifle his laughter. When she shot him a look, he mistook her concern about what they’d overheard for embarrassment over what they were witnessing, and hugged her close to him, hiding her face against his shoulder. Brenna shook her head and looked at him imploringly, but he pressed his finger to his lips again, still amused by the proceedings.
Just then, Victice pushed Yvette off his lap and onto her back, climbing on top of her and thrusting wildly into her. They rutted on the floor for several minutes, Yvette panting and yelling, “Yes, yes, say it again!” and Victice grunting unintelligibly. With a shout from Victice, it was over and he collapsed down on top of her, gasping for air for a few minutes before beginning to snore softly, his lust assuaged. Yvette rolled him off of her and urged him to stand, supporting him as they moved off down the hallway and out of sight.
When they were gone, Garan burst out laughing. Brenna could only look after them in horror, and couldn’t believe Garan found the proceedings funny. “Didn’t you hear them?” she asked.
“How could I not?” Garan laughed, but noticing that Brenna did not share his amusement he added, “You don’t believe them, do you?”
“Why shouldn’t I?” Brenna demanded, growing more irritated that Garan did not share her concern. “He wants to be king!”
“Many men want to be king, priestess,” he said, still smiling, “but few have the wherewithal to realize that desire. Besides, men such as the noble Sir Victice are not above saying whatever it takes to bed a pretty girl, truthful or not.”
“Perhaps,” she said, looking doubtfully down the hall in the direction they’d gone.
“He was deep in his cups and as horny as a goat. I’d put no stock in his words.” He placed a finger under her chin, tilting her face up to kiss her gently.
Brenna felt somewhat reassured, but a bit of nagging doubt lingered. “Still, it behooves us to be careful and vigilant.”
“Indeed,” he said as he led her back through the doorway and into the Great Hall.
As they slid into their seats, Brenna saw Alamara on the dance floor. She laughed and twirled, sparkling like a jewel as she moved around the circle with the other dancers. She is truly in her element, Brenna thought and smiled happily at her friend. She looked around the room and saw that many of the partygoers had already retired for the evening. Garan chatted amiably with Sir Briance and Brenna wondered at the lateness of the hour.
When the dance was over, Alamara returned to her seat, beaming at Brenna. “There you are!” she said and then leaned closer to whisper, “I noticed that you and Sir Garan were both missing. Coincidence?”
“Not at all,” Brenna replied. “I find his company quite agreeable.” She flashed a conspiratorial smile at her friend and Alamara squealed triumphantly, grabbing her arm.
“I knew it! He has taken quite a shine to you too!”
“It would seem so, Your Majesty.”
Alamara noticed Brenna stifling a yawn and rose to leave. The musicians stopped playing in deference to the queen and those few still in attendance turned to give her their attention. “Dear friends,” she said, “Thank you all for a wonderful day and evening in memory of our dear King Alfonse. I am sure he would be honored were he still with us. Please feel free to stay as long as you and these talented players have the energy to continue, but I am to bed.”
There were murmurs of approval as the musicians launched into a slow, stately number. Garan turned to Alamara and bowed, offering his hand. “Your Majesty, I believe I still owe you a dance.”
She smiled graciously at Garan. “Just like old times, sir knight. Sir Briance, this dance is for four dancers. Will you and Brenna join us?”
Sir Briance rose and offered Brenna his hand. “It would be my pleasure, Your Majesty. My lady?”
“Oh, I’m afraid I don’t know this dance,” Brenna said.
“It is very simple, dear,” Alamara said. “I will call it for you as we go.” They stepped onto the dance floor as the music began, Alamara calling out the steps for Brenna as the four of them moved together and apart, trading partners and laughing as the dance progressed.
Brenna watched as Garan and Alamara danced together, feeling relieved to see nothing but friendship and admiration for each other in their eyes. She was surprised at herself for having harbored feelings of jealousy toward her friend earlier, but it was clear to her now that even if they had been in love in the past, they were just friends now. As they changed partners again, Brenna thrilled to be in Garan’s arms and noticed that his hand lingered on the small of her back and fingers clasped hers for just a moment too long as they moved through the steps. They looked into each other’s eyes and Brenna knew again that they were soulbound and had been connected through all time.
The dance ended and they all applauded the musicians. Alamara turned to her companions, saying, “I am off to bed. Will you walk up with me?” She slipped her arm into Briance’s and they started toward the door, Garan and Brenna following behind.
At the queen’s private chamber, Briance dropped to one knee, taking Alamara’s hand and kissing it reverently. “Thank you, my valiant knight,” she said. “I have had a wonderful evening and couldn’t have asked for a better champion and consort.” She leaned over and kissed the top of his head, causing him to blush.
“I am forever in your service, Your Majesty. Good night,” he replied and disappeared down the stairs.
Brenna moved to go in with her friend, but Alamara waved her away. “No need to tuck me in, dear. I have attendants for that. Good night, my friends.” She blew them a kiss and passed through the doorway, leaving Brenna and Garan alone in the hallway.
As the door clicked closed behind them, Garan pulled Brenna into his embrace, leaning down to whisper in her ear. “We are off duty, then,” he said.
“So it seems,” she said, “although as Champion of the Kingdom and the Queen’s Protector, I think it wise if you stayed close by, just in case.” She kissed his neck just below his ear and felt him shiver.
“Hmm, but where shall I stay? Apparently, the rooms next to the Queen’s … my old rooms, I might add … are currently occupied.” He made a trail of kisses from her ear to her hollow of her throat and she leaned her head back to give him better access.
“You are in luck, my lord. The rooms are currently occupied by me.”
“How convenient. Perhaps I can think of some way to convince you to allow me to stay in them tonight.” Garan brought his lips to hers, kissing her lightly.
“Perhaps, but where will I go if you occupy my rooms?” Brenna murmured before deepening the kiss.
“I think we can work out an acceptable arrangement,” he said before picking her up into his arms and carrying her across the threshold.