Speak Into The Air is a story of wishes and promises. The belief that if you have a wish, a good selfless one. One that is for the right reasons and the right moment… It can happen.
Speak into the Air
Tera held the note between her fingers lightly, for the stuff of dreams, hopes, and wishes was so very fragile. She traced a finger over the handwriting: the words were simple, yet asked so much in what they said.
She had received many wishes and dreams in her life. Some were very obvious, such as a wish for her to perform some act or provide some kind of pleasure. But with those, the words didn’t show an understanding of what those in the Realm were, what they believed in.
Some saw them as much less than even that.
This note did not. The soul behind these words did not ask for herself or himself; no, that would have been too obvious. These words asked for something that was not for their author, for what the author wanted was not as important as giving to another.
That made this dream, this wish, one that Tera held and thought about.
It wasn’t asking for her to do something—not exactly—but what was asked for was something that she wanted to have happen, something she wanted to be true, something she wanted to be. But the question was whether she could ask for one of her own to do her a favor.
It wasn’t that Tera couldn’t ask, it was that she didn’t want to impose her will upon another. It wasn’t her way to use her role as the Queen to get what she wanted. It was … difficult for her when that had to be.
What made this wish more than all of the others was that it spoke of one specific individual in the Realm. It told of what she looked like, how she spoke, who she was, and, most of all …
… it told of her name.
Tera read the name once more before folding the note carefully and slipping it back into the envelope it came in. She touched the simple four words written on the envelope’s face of it and sighed.
“Breathe Into The Air”: Tera knew exactly which of her succubi this spoke of and that was her main concern. Tera didn’t have, to be honest, the best of relationships with her and that would make what was to come, she expected, harder than it had to be.
Finally, she walked out of her home and made her way across the Realm, note in hand and determination in her stride. She might even get to have a real conversation with the one of whom she needed to ask the favor of.
Lily, in the meantime, wouldn’t know what was coming her way.
Lily, known by Tera by her proper name Lillian, was an amber tail, and that meant that she had a problem that not many others in the Realm had: being amber, she had a mix of the powers of red, orange, and yellow tails. For ambers, the powers were slanted towards one of the three tails that were part of them, but they also had a smattering of the others within them as well. In Lily’s case, her powers were focused on vitality, endurance, and healing.
Which was rather unique in the Realm.
Tera understood, from reading the note, why Lillian might be requested, even if the one who wrote the words wouldn’t, couldn’t possibly know how apt they were. But Lillian had become somewhat isolated from the rest of the Realm, had been for some time now, and that concerned Tera most of all.
While Tera had her Castle in the Realm, she didn’t use it much, save for the moments when someone visited expecting to see the Queen of the Succubi in all of her glory. No, she was always happier to be in her small home in the midst of the Realm with her Eternal and be part of those around her, not above them.
It wasn’t quite the same for Lily. Lily’s home was a small—the word being relative of course—mansion on the southern edge of the Realm, facing the Plains of Dreams. Lily asked for permission to build her home there and it was, Tera thought, one of the most wonderful places in the Realm. But something happened on one of Lillian’s travels out of the Realm, and things had changed.
Tera, not wanting to pry but, in truth, knowing the reason—she was the Queen, after all—could not do more than watch Lillian draw herself within its walls and then just … vanish … from life in the Realm.
Until today: Tera arrived at the hedgerow that surrounded Lillian’s part of the Realm and, after drawing a long breath, stepped onto the cobblestone pathway that lead into her world. As she walked through the garden that lay around Lillian’s home, Tera couldn’t help but sigh a little as she regarded the space around her. Once, long ago, this home had been well looked after: the flowers, trees and more all just so. She had found pride in her home, in what it represented, in what she could do with it. But now the grass was long, the ground unkempt and it seemed as if Lillian didn’t care about anything from the looks of things.
That thought seemed to be more true when Tera arrived at the main doors to Lillian’s mansion and found one door slightly ajar, the wood, once lovingly polished to a shine, dimmed and dingy. If this was how her home was, just how much worse was Lillian herself? The lights were out, the carpets thread worn, dust covered every surface, and, for a moment, Tera was concerned that Lillian wasn’t there, or something worse had happened. But then Tera heard the creak of a floorboard high above her and made her way up the wide spiral staircase towards a dim light that flickered from one of the rooms upstairs. As she came closer, she felt Lillian there and paused outside of the door, wondering if she should really see her.
“Come in, Tera. You’ve come this far, you should see me, shouldn’t you?”
Tera passed over the threshold and found herself in Lillian’s sitting room. She remembered how it once looked, the walls covered in books on life, health, the living world, the carpet a deep blue, a large window facing the gardens outside. But now, the walls were but empty shelves, the carpet threadbare like the others in the house, the window covered in dust, little sparkles of light only occasionally making their way through, and, against the far wall, by that window, Tera found Lillian sitting in a small worn leather chair, looking at the window blankly.
When Tera spoke her name, the look that Lily gave in return reminded Tera yet again just how much Lillian didn’t like to be called Lillian. The problem was, Tera found it incredibly difficult to use nicknames, and she really had to concentrate not to do so.
But seeing her now, compared to how she was, had diverted Tera’s focus. Once Lillian was passionate about life, about living, about the world around her. Now it seemed that all her passion had been drained from her life and she was just marking time.
Now sitting there in the chair was a tired, so very tired, Lillian, not caring about herself much. Tera remembered the stunning being Lillian once was, her short crimson hair in a bob, the shiny silver dresses that she loved to wear along with the strappy heels that once were her trademark in the Realm; how the sun, when it shone against her horns and tail, made them sparkle with joy in the life that was around them, her brown eyes so focused and yet contemplative, anxious to discover all that she could. This Lillian was barely wearing an oversized sweater and just didn’t have any of the life in her that Tera once knew.
But the old anger came through from Lily clearly when Tera used the name she truly disliked: “My name is Lily.”
Tera nodded, “Alright … Lily. I’m sorry.”
She answered with a snort of derision and then turned away, not interested in Tera any more. But Tera wasn’t going to leave, she wasn’t going to be brushed off, either. So Lily walked across the room and then paused beside her Sovereign.
Tera waved her right hand, gesturing at the room around them both, “Why this?”
Tera stood there, her tail swishing behind her, watching Lillian … er, Lily’s face, looking for a hint that she didn’t truly believe what she said. The problem was, she did. “It matters.”
Lily was suddenly standing in front of Tera, her finger poking against Tera’s chest, “NO, it doesn’t, not to anyone … No one cares, so I don’t either.”
Tera just looked at her and said nothing.
That, more than anything else, gave Lily pause, and she took a step back, but her words didn’t retreat: “No one cares, Tera. That’s the truth.”
Tera shook her head and then held the envelope she’d brought with her between the two of them. “This is the truth … Lily.”
The auburn-tail looked at the envelope, seeing the words written on it, but not understanding what Tera held or why it mattered. “I don’t do that any more.”
“No, you haven’t had the will to accept it. That’s the truth.”
“How can I?”
“Why can’t you? Why can’t you try, just one more time, to see?”
“It’s not worth it. I’ll just …”
“… make things worse? Make a mistake?”
Lily turned away and started walking, but Tera followed her through the mansion, always two steps behind, and constantly asking her questions as she did so …
“Think about all of the good you have done. Think about all of the good you can do. Have you considered that?
“You matter, can’t you understand that?
“Why don’t you come back and see that you are wanted?”
It was in the main hall where Tera finally stopped being kind and started pressing the one button that she knew would get Lily’s attention.
“No, your name is Lillian. That’s the name your mother and father gave you, that’s who you are.”
“My name is Lily!”
Tera caught Lily’s hand as it moved to strike her and held it tightly. Tera wasn’t mad, not even close to it. She was upset with herself more than anything else.
“If you want to be … Lily … then …” Again, Tera showed her the envelope, not saying another word.
When Lily tore the letter from Tera’s hand, the Queen feared that it would be ripped into pieces in the next moment for the frustration that she could see in Lily’s eyes.
“I don’t promise anything, Tera.”
“Just read it? Please? I’m not asking you to do anything more than that.”
Lily finally opened the envelope and read the note it held. For some time, she didn’t know what to say. She did wish that she could take back what she said to Tera about calling her “Lillian” and the other stupid things she now regretted. Much like Tera did, she just read the words, then traced them with her fingers … and really thought about what it asked of her … of them.
“Tera, I’m sorry.”
“There’s nothing to be sorry about … Lily. I …”
She looked at Tera wistfully, “No, “Lillian” is fine, Tera. I should have understood that better … understood why you never said my name any other way.”
“I couldn’t explain …”
“I know. I’ve forgotten who I am. I’ve lost what I can do, Tera … I …”
Tera still wasn’t pleased with herself. She brushed a hand through her hair and asked, “What are you going to do?”
Lily folded the note and whispered, “I don’t know.”
Tera closed the distance between them, her right hand touching Lily on the shoulder … a touch Lily hadn’t felt in centuries: “Perhaps not knowing is where we start?”
Lily was confused, but listened to what Tera had to say. The two of them talked until the sun set on the Realm and, finally, they decided on what they would do. They hoped that it would be … somehow … what was meant to be. And that it would make two dreams—now three—come true.
Finally, Lily asked Tera a question. “Why me?”
Tera’s reply made them both smile …
… “Because. What other reason need there be?”
Speak into the Air
It had been, to tell the truth, longer than Tera realized for Lily. Once, long ago, Lily had loved to listen to the dreams of others … to taste them … to slip into them … to make them … real.
After reading the note, talking with Tera, and trying to decide on what she would do, Lily found herself in a part of her home that she hadn’t been in for ages. That in itself wasn’t the real problem; the problem was that she was trying to find who she once was and be, really, who she should be. Who she should be was the being that once gave inspiration to some, pleasure to others, but, most of all, the being who managed to make the impossible … possible.
To do that, one started with one’s presentation.
She had gone into the part of her home where she gathered herself together, focused her body, mind, and soul on what she wanted to do. But it was primarily the place where she looked into the mirror that every succubi and incubi had, the mirror in which the owner saw things that weren’t seen by anyone else but herself. She looked into that mirror and found that she didn’t like who she saw. She turned away from the mirror, disgusted with herself for thinking that she could be who she once was.
“Come back here.”
Lily stopped in her tracks and turned around, sighing, “I haven’t heard your voice in a while.”
Lily saw her other self in the mirror. She had expected that, but was taken aback when she saw a black minidress, strappy heels, a silver tail moving behind her almost hypnotically. Her other self, her Tail self, looked … alive … powerful …
… everything that Lily wasn’t.
“You’ve never taken the chance to come in here. Oh I know why … You couldn’t face me, could you?”
Lily shrugged in resignation, “I didn’t need you berating me. So why be here now?”
“Because you need a kick in the ass. Enough of the crap, Lily: get your head out of your ass, get yourself cleaned up, and get over yourself.”
Lily just stood there … Then she started to laugh, which, apparently, didn’t make her reflection very happy, given the way her tail was twisting behind her.
“He’s gone Lily. Face it.”
The laughter ended abruptly. For a long moment the two succubi just looked at each other.
“I can’t do this. I’ll call Tera and tell her to send someone else.”
“You were asked for.”
“Someone else can look like me and …”
“… and not be you.”
“The client won’t …”
“… the client most certainly will know.”
Lily threw up her hands and walked in a circle in front of the mirror. Her reflection, however, didn’t move, but just stood there, tapping a fingernail against the glass of the mirror and continuing to talk to her, “You think that losing him, losing all of them, doesn’t haunt me?”
“Doesn’t look like it. I’m sure you and the other Tails are having all kinds of fun at my expense.”
“Lily? Fuck you.”
“Wasn’t I clear? You can go and fuck yourself. It’s not like you haven’t been for a long time now, has it?”
Lily stopped pacing and then dropped to the floor, sitting there and just staring at her Tail in the mirror.
“Now that you are at least looking at me, let me tell you something. And you don’t say a word or move an inch until I’m done, understand?”
When Lily didn’t answer, it was taken as being understood and her Tail started on her … “You’ve been sulking here for far too long. You’ve refused to do anything to overcome what happened. You won’t consider that you are needed or wanted. All you want to do is sit here and watch your home slowly crumble into dust and then bury yourself in it.”
Lily was hurt by those words. But she didn’t say anything.
“You have no idea how many here want you to be part of their lives, how many are willing to help you get better. I’m not talking about the incubi or succubi that would love to be with you; I’m talking about those out there who want you to heal in ways that just being with others can’t accomplish.”
She then showed Lily what looked to be the note that Tera had given her, and Lily looked shocked as she continued: “You have no concept what happens if you don’t answer this letter. But since you are focused on getting out of it now that you are facing the fact that you have to respond, maybe you should just let me take over and you can go and hide.”
The two looked at each other and then Lily finally answered, “You wouldn’t …” And then Lily found herself stumbling onto her heels as she said, “… dare.”
She wasn’t in the same place as she had been. The room was bright, not a speck of dust to be seen. She faced a mirror, again, not the same one she had been looking into a moment before and she saw …
… herself changed.
For a long time, all she could do was look in the mirror and see herself as she now was: her hair bright red once more, perfectly shaped; one of her once-favorite silver dresses—the one that started just above the straps over her heels—flowing like water over her form and covering her like a second skin right up to her neckline. It even covered her arms, leaving them shiny and smooth in the light. Behind, her feathered wings, perfectly white, fluttered as her tail seemed to peek out from behind her, as if checking to see that all was exactly right.
It wasn’t, not quite. Her tail moved up to one of her horns and pushed a lock of hair back into the exact place it should be: “There. You can thank me later.”
Lily was not pleased by what had happened, and moved to pull the dress off herself, but her tail poked her side in annoyance. “What are you doing?”
“Taking this off.”
“You actually can’t remember? This particular dress you can’t take off unless …”
Lily sighed, “… unless the one that summons me does so … Darn you!”
“So now you have to go.”
“I can’t! I’m not ready! I …”
“You are stalling. You know exactly what is being asked of you. You and Tera figured it out; all you have to do is believe in yourself and make it happen.”
Lily looked into the mirror as her tail wrapped itself around her waist and gave her a hug. “If I didn’t believe you could do this, I wouldn’t be pushing you.”
Lily just looked at herself and tried, really tried to smile, to be a little bit happy, to … to try. But the doubts about herself were deep and she didn’t feel like she was making any headway against it all. “I don’t believe in … me.”
Her tail moved behind her and then she found herself looking at the note that it held on its tip: “They do.”
Lily took the note and read it again, tracing the words once more to remind herself. To try and capture the hope that she needed to have before she saw them.
“What if I mess this up?”
“Do you honestly believe that you aren’t going to try to make this happen?”
“It’s gone wrong before.”
There was silence … but then an answer, “If you believe it will, then it will. So don’t.”
Lily managed to nod before she focused her thoughts and disappeared in a puff of orange smelling smoke …
Speak into the Air
She heard the voice in her thoughts as she moved from the Realm towards her destination. It was something new for Lily, and it troubled her just a bit. She had heard stories from others about how sometimes, just sometimes, when there was a soul that truly needed them to appear, that soul’s call would come clearly in a succubi’s own thoughts …
… she had never experienced that before: a soul that spoke to her and her alone; a voice that did not scream in passion or howl in demand, but just simply … called.
Lily thought that she would appear beside her caller or nearby and know who it was the moment she arrived. She had prepared herself to explain who she was, why she was there, all of the things that those of the Realm found they had to do for various reasons …
She thought that would happen.
Instead, she materialized between the world of mortals and the world of the Realm, in a strange place she had not seen before.
Grey mists surrounded her, hiding the world around her, and she was unsure what any of it meant. She wasn’t where she expected to be, and it wasn’t quite like anything she had experienced before. She looked behind her and saw clearly—which was odd for how thick the mists were around her—the Realm shining in the distance, her home waiting for her there. But, in front of her, in the way of her destination, the mists pushed against her as if to block her way.
She heard the voice again, just barely there in her thoughts. Why was this happening now? It was stronger before, very much so, and yet … muffled, like there was gauze over the mouth of the one who called her, and it was becoming harder and harder to hear.
Lily moved forward slowly now; there was obviously something going on, and some caution was needed. There were beings that did not see the difference between those of the Realm and those of other places, and it could be one of those beings who was involved in this. The thought came to her that this all could be a trap, that the note wasn’t real, that the voice was a siren song meant to ensnare. As those thoughts intruded upon her, the voice became quiet, and Lily stopped.
She could never say how long she remained there listening … not exactly. Her fingers fidgeted with the note for a time before she finally opened it and traced her fingers again over the words …
When the voice returned—quite strongly now—Lily finally understood: someone or something was trying to stop her from going to the caller. One of the things about Lily was that she was almost as stubborn as Tera once she set her mind to doing something. It was both one of her strengths and also very much a weakness. It was that stubbornness that had pushed her into exiling herself from everyone in the Realm the way she had done. Now that same stubbornness made her push forwards into whatever was trying to block her path. The mists pulled at her wings, her tail, her form, like a web slowing her down, trying to give her a reason to turn back, to abandon her goal, to hide once more in her home and fade away …
… Why was she thinking like this? Someone had called her. Someone needed her. If nothing else, she was going to see who that person was.
When that thought came clearly into her mind, suddenly the mists vanished and, far ahead, so very far away, Lily saw two bright lights in front of her. She knew exactly what they were, and she was brought up short by that realization. She had not seen beings like them in ages, and now two of them appeared, slowly coalescing from light into physical form—or at least what passed for it in this strange in-between place where she found herself in.
“You shall not pass.” The first words spoken were by the female angel on her right. All golden, almost statue-like in appearance, in her right hand she held a short sword and in her left a shield, golden wings, and halo, robes as well.
“You are not wanted here.” Those words were from the male on her left. He, too, was armed, ready for battle, ready to stop Lily from continuing onwards.
They were gatekeepers, and this was a real problem.
Lily wasn’t a fighter, not like some of the Realm were. She nurtured. She lived for life. But with those thoughts also came the images of her home now, how she had turned away from all she once believed in.
As the conflicting thoughts passed through her, she understood exactly what was happening now. They were using her own doubts against her, to make her leave, to turn from her path and retreat.
Lily straightened up, shook out her wings and took a deep breath … “I have been invited. Let me pass.”
“You shall not pass.”
Her tail swished behind her in agitation now … “The calling is clear. They speak my name so I may be with them.”
“You are not wanted.”
Her wings fluttered and then spread broadly behind her … “I am wanted. I am asked for.”
“Tell me why I should.”
“They do not know what they ask for.”
Lily thought about this for a moment, but then held up the note, folded again, that Tera had brought to her. “They … Know.”
For a time none of the beings said or did anything. Lily was as much a statue as the two that blocked her path. After a time she realized that, while she had been asked for, the gatekeepers didn’t believe what she told them.
And the doubts returned to her thoughts once more. Was she right? Really right? No one had ever called for her before, not specifically for her. Then there was the fear, deep inside, about doing wrong, about making a mistake, about …
… about causing another disaster.
Her tail lowered, her wings withdrew, and Lily felt the fires that had begun to burn within her start to fade away once more into the ashes she had been living with for so long …
“You shall not pass.”
The note bent slightly between Lily’s fingers as she thought about turning away. One gatekeeper she might be able to get by … but two … Two would cost her if it came to it. She was turning away, to leave with her tail between her legs when she heard the voice again …
,.. and stopped. The doubts that swirled within Lily’s mind left her, and a serene smile appeared as she turned, straightened her back, and took a step towards the two angels.
Her tail was swishing once more. “Someone calls to me.”
Her wings were wide and strong again.
“That call gives me strength.”
And finally, at long last, the glow of life returned to her, surrounded her, and her own power, the power that was needed, came to encompass her once more. “And I will see them.”
She stood now inches from the two beings and held the note to them, the note itself now beginning to glow … “Try to stop me.”
Speak into the Air
They didn’t stop Lily.
It wasn’t a question of how powerful they were, or how determined Lily was. It wasn’t that their weapons weren’t strong enough. It wasn’t that Lily was able to resist them. It had nothing to do with force at all.
The power wasn’t in Lily herself; the means to pass was the note she held and the need that came from it. In that need, in that wish, she could pass, could overcome, and they could do nothing but bluster and threaten and belittle her.
It wasn’t enough. Lily left them behind her. She did hold a question in her thoughts that she could not take away: Was she really, after so long, really prepared for what was coming next?
She paused at the edge of entering the place where she had been called to. She wanted to appear dramatically, powerfully, desirably … but it didn’t turn out that way. The shift didn’t feel right. Something was different, but she wasn’t exactly sure what it was. She could sense her clients nearby, felt them: their emotions, their needs, their desires, their … fantasies … She also felt her own fears, her worries, the overwhelming sadness that surrounded her. It was, Lily realized, so very familiar because it was the same feeling that she had been living with for so many years herself. The light was gone, and in its place was … emptiness.
She drew a shuddering breath and tried to wipe away the tears that were pooling in her eyes. Blinking them clear, she noticed that the darkness that hid the space around her was, ever so slightly, pushed back by the wish she now held like a lifeline. The despair was returning, pushing against her, but the wish had formed a halo around her that the gloom couldn’t quite get through. Lily hoped that it would be kept at bay …
Her eyes could see now, and it was clear that she was standing in a house of some kind; more accurately, she was in what looked to be a sparsely furnished family room … but there was no family: no sounds of laughter, of joy, of anything that said that there was life here.
She worried now, the ache within her deep and mournful as she feared that she was too late, that her own worries, uncertainties, and more had delayed her far too long. Her stupidity must have cost her subjects … everything.
Lily dropped to her knees, hands covering her eyes, and she was overwhelmed by the realization of what her own selfishness had cost her. It had been everything. It was all happening again … “I’m sorry… It’s all my fault …” Lily spoke to both the one who summoned her and the one she had lost so long ago.
“I don’t deserve to be. There’s nothing for me anymore …” The images of her own loss, her own folly, came to her now, each and every moment—and, most of all, the instant when she knew, fully, that there was nothing for her anymore …
But Lily snapped back to the here and now as she heard the voice again … “Lily …” not in her thoughts now. No, it was … here?
She scrambled to her feet and called out in reply, “I’m here!”
The answer, after a short time, was, “Lily …”
She moved now, guided by the small glimmer of hope in her that it wasn’t too late, that she could make a difference. The house wasn’t large, but it felt to Lily like it took ages for her to pass from room to room, look inside, and then move onwards. The call of her name came from everywhere and nowhere. She thought the voice was in one place, but then it wasn’t. Lily’s searching became more and more frantic the longer it went on, until she tripped on a rug and fell once more.
And then she noticed something. The wish! It … pulled her ever so slightly in one particular direction. If she had been paying attention, if she hadn’t lost herself to despair she would have felt it tugging as if wanting to return … home.
Lily stood up, took a deep breath to calm herself, and moved in the direction that the wish desired. She soon found her destination …
Lily called out to her summoners when she entered the room, but she wasn’t heard. The darkness, the loss, the despair around the three of them swallowed up her words completely. She tried to embrace them, but her hands passed through them like she was a ghost. She couldn’t understand why that was. It had never happened like this before.
She looked at the wish she held and unfolded it, traced her fingers over the words, and tried to make sense of what had happened to her. Was it that they didn’t believe that she would appear? Was that why she couldn’t comfort them?
She tried to touch them, comfort them, but she was mist, etherial, without solid form. All she could do was call out into the air, sobbing softly with the words in reply as she listened to their voices in the darkness …
“I’m here …”
“I’m here …”
The wish dropped from her fingers and fluttered towards the carpet below …
“Please … I’m here …”
Then a flash of both light and darkness came …
Speak into the Air
Her reply was a mumble, almost but not quite asleep, not quite all with the world, as beings are when they are on the edge of wakefulness: “mmhgm?”
The chuckle had a deep baritone to it that, even with her being not quite all there, made goose bumps trickle over her skin: “You aren’t going to get to sleep in love. I have plans for you.”
She smiled into the pillow, a reflex that she couldn’t help, and purred, “Make me.”
“If you insist …”
This was the part that she loved most of all. He never just did something; no, that wasn’t her black-tailed Eternal’s way. He never, ever, did the same thing twice, which really was amazing considering that for all of the centuries they had been together, one would expect that things would have become … routine.
They never were, and not this time, either.
She did, too.
For the longest time—she didn’t know how long—he just was there … watching. She breathed slowly, trying not to let the anticipation of the moment overcome her good sense. But it was very hard to do that when you knew that your Eternal was close by … and you could feel … things … the warmth from his body, almost touching but not quite; the sound of him shifting on the bed; the whisper of his tail moving in the air as he thought about her, desired her … and only her.
Lily was wet, so achingly wet, wanting to part her legs and let him have his way with her, but this was their game, and so she couldn’t allow herself to do that … yet. But she wanted to, so badly that just barely managing to bite her lip and stifle her moans was taking all of her focus. But the ache spread through her, her toes curling slightly, her muscles tensing, her nipples so stiff now that the sheets were rough against her skin and the sensation thrilled her to the core. It would take so little, so very little, for her to lose the battle and then … oh then …
She couldn’t see him, her face buried into the pillow, and she knew well enough that rolling over or looking to see what he was up to would just mean he’d smile, tweak the tip of her tail with his fingers and then go off to do … something.
And it was the something that was the problem. Knowing him, and just how dominant black tails were, it would involve being put over his knee and having her bum paddled until it was a hot shade of red. Which wasn’t so bad … really. The make-up afterwards part was always … fun.
And she liked … fun. But she didn’t move, and was really proud of herself in not doing so, when he touched the inside of the sole of her right foot with a fingertip. The gasp that was trying to escape her caught in her throat as his other hand trailed against the inside of her left thigh … slowly. She couldn’t hold her breath and let it out in a long shudder before gasping for air again. “You …”
The light swat on her ass made her jump, and he was amused. “Yes? Who else did you think it was?”
She gripped the sheets with her hands, her nails digging in: “Oh, you don’t know them, but …”
It was their way: she was teasing, and he knew it—simply a way for her to tell him that, whatever he wanted to do, she was his … as she would be forever.
“… but they can’t do this.”
His lips kissed against her right calf, feather light, just at that one spot that would just make her melt into the sheets in anticipation of what he would do next. Slowly—and he was an expert at this—he brushed her skin, then kisses followed, moving higher and higher a bare inch at a time.
He was right, of course: no one else could do what he could.
Her voice was husky with need. “mmmm … No … mmmm … they … mmmm …”
His hands now pressing against her thighs made her pause. He would expect her to resist, just a little bit, and she was starting to tense up when he surprised her again. One hand didn’t move, but the other was lightning quick as a finger slipped underneath the base of her tail and rubbed in just the right way there …
… and she saw stars. Most succubi were sensitive in their horns, some also at a spot on their neck or elsewhere. But not Lily, no, her entire body was sensitive to touch and that one spot under her tail was the most sensitive of all. In all of the lovers Lily had before him, in all of the emotions and bliss she had felt, the very first place her Eternal touched her was there, and she wanted him and no other from that moment on …
… and she always would.
When she could think again—it took a little while, but she did manage it … sort of—she felt him straddling her legs, his hands now kneading her rear. She mewled in passion as his fingers pressed and stroked her warm skin. Then she felt it: how slick his hands were, the slickness of her skin as he massaged her there. He had the oil. Oh, God, he was using the oil on her.
There are, of course, aphrodisiacs in the Realm. Some of them are quite safe for mortals to use, most just make the experience … more … a lot more. For the succubi and incubi there really are few that have any true power. One of those Lily was guilty of growing at her own home. She had rationalized that it was to protect the flowers—they were so very rare after all. By themselves, they would add a scent that would enhance the desires in others …
… but add oil to them, one specific kind of oil, and …
… and it was dripping between her legs and making her sex wetter and slicker …
… and hotter …
… and wetter …
He knew this, of course, and her last rational thought was that he probably had used it on himself before he started on her. Stroking his shaft with oil soaked fingers … watching her sleeping … wanting her … waiting for her to … to …
Her tail moved to wrap around one of his arms. No words were needed between them now. A tug moved him over her, his hands spreading the oil over the small of her back and then … then around the base of her tail, but not beneath it. No, that would have been too much too fast. Instead, her tail unwrapped and he began to work the oil into it’s length. Inch by agonising inch. The amber colour shining in the light of the room, turning more gold than amber and making it so much more sensitive than it normally was.
This took time that she couldn’t quite grasp anymore. It was all sensation now, no thought, no consideration.
He moved then to straddle her waist, her tail now behind him, his black tail twining with her own amber, the oil coating his own tail and turning it not just black, but ebony—deepest, darkest black. The tails rubbed together, the heat in them both now pushing thought further away. His hands pressed the oil into her back, then over her shoulders before he massaged her neck, loosening the muscles there and making her body go completely limp, in his control now, unable to do anything but feel him …
… She stifled a sob when he lifted away from her, the need coming closer and closer to consuming her totally. Then he slipped his hands beneath her and turned her over. She wanted to look at him, but a single word stopped her: “No.”
Again the pause … to wait … to whine in anticipation.
Then he touched her again, oiling her from her toes again … the tease. It was not as slow this time; the oil was effecting them both now, and soon they would have no control at all. Fingers spread oil over her legs … thighs … but not her sex—no, he carefully avoided that, or tried to, but couldn’t stop the stream of oil that pooled around her navel from running like a river over her clit and into her folds making her rub her thighs together in need. Over her tummy, beneath her breasts and … oh, he would … a kiss upon each aroused peak before the oil came and the ache became all-consuming …
Her hand reached out and found him … thick, hard, in need for her … so much in need now that the growl that came from her touch broke their control and …
… she pushed him to the floor …
… she straddled him and guided him …
… he arched his hips and drove into her … so deep … so full …
… so …
… and then the oil on him lit up all of her nerves and everything else was fragments of memories …
… flashes of pure pleasure …
… the fires of passion …
… the screams he made for her …
… the screams from her own voice …
In those moments, their souls merged together, completely open to each other’s thoughts, desires, wishes … everything …
It was … perfect.
So absolutely perfect …
Speak into the Air
Lily was sure she heard her Eternal. Everything was … right: exactly, blissfully, perfectly, right. Even more, she felt the aftershocks of … everything coursing through her body. It had to be him; he was the only one …
But it wasn’t his voice she heard.
“Come on. Easy now. Let me help you up.”
She opened her eyes to see who was there, but her vision was blurry and, while the voice was male, she couldn’t tell exactly who it was. She didn’t resist when he helped her to her feet, nor did she stop him from leading her … wherever it was that he was taking her.
“Just take it easy, we’re almost at the couch, and you can rest there.”
She felt him beside her, but she couldn’t feel him. Normally when she was with someone she could feel their desires, their thoughts, their … soul. Not this time. There was something there, but it was muted, indistinct, unclear.
This should have given Lily a fright. She should have run, or pulled away from him, but instead she just held onto his arm and managed to sit down when he let go of her. It was in that moment she realized something.
She couldn’t feel her tail!
That shook her, and she brushed a hand over her forehead to feel her horns and found that they weren’t there either.
“Just rest. I’ll be right back.”
She listened to him leave, the sound of his footsteps on the floor before they faded away and she was alone again. Or so she thought.
“Hello Lily. It’s nice to finally meet … you.” A female voice this time. Again, she didn’t recognize it, and now Lily began to tense up and become truly frightened by what was going on.
“Shhh … no … It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you and neither is he.”
“Who … who are you? Both of you?”
“It’s not important right now. We’ll help you.”
Lily laughed softly, “I’m supposed to say that.”
The woman, whomever she was, placed something cold over Lily’s forehead and then settled onto the couch with Lily. There was something … familiar about what was happening, but she couldn’t put her finger on what it was. Lily reached up and took off the cloth as she tried to stand up: “I’m okay and …”
… and she dropped right back onto the couch when the dizzy spell hit.
“No, you aren’t okay. I can tell that much.”
Lily did manage to lean forward and put her head in her hands to try and steady herself as she heard him return.
“How are you?”
“Confused …” Lily couldn’t help the sigh that came from her.
“… you’ll be all right.” He left again and it was just Lily and this … woman.
“It’s hard to understand what’s going on right now, but that will pass and things will make sense soon enough.”
Lily actually laughed at those words. Nothing made any sense at that moment and what was worse seemed to be that the two people here knew more about what was going on than she did. “What’s so funny?” she demanded.
“Just rest a while. We’ll talk when you can.”
A headache started to pound in her temples and she put the cloth over her forehead again. There was something so familiar about all of this. Not the woman, just what was happening … somehow. For a while, Lily just stayed there, the woman beside her occasionally tending to her before leaving her alone, just sitting there and waiting.
The headache passed and then, finally, Lily’s vision cleared, and she could see the woman beside her and she drew in her breath in surprise: “Hi.”
It was her, but it wasn’t her. It was her face, her body, her voice, everything including her tail and horns and that damnable dress that her tail had made her wear. But how was that possible? “What the hell is going on?”
“A choice, Lily. One you need to make, otherwise it’s all going to happen exactly the way it did the last time you chose …”
“I … I don’t understand.”
The other Lily nodded and then said, “You won’t … not for a long time.”
Lily looked at herself finally for the first time and realized something. She wasn’t wearing the dress, she was dressed in an oversized shirt and that was all. This just made no sense at all, and her anger began to boil within her …
… or it did until her other self’s tail wrapped itself around her right wrist and it all drained away into nothing. “Just be calm and listen to me … please?”
Lily found she couldn’t resist the words and became quiet, listening, and trying to understand what she was told next.
“You are confused because, in this moment, there are two of us.”
The headache started again, “What are you talking about?”
The sigh was so very familiar before the answer began “At this moment you haven’t made a choice, a very critical one in your life. This is the moment when you decided to leave him … forever.”
Memories started to come now, unbidden: the face of her Eternal, but not; someone else that was, but wasn’t. It was all so confusing and the pain got worse and worse. “Don’t get what you mean … so confused.”
“You will. Or rather, we both will.”
“What are you talking about?”
“It’s hard to exist here with you, having the memories of the past with the knowledge of the future. Things you shouldn’t know you do … sort of.”
The other Lily was quiet and then said, “I’m here to take your place, Lily. He won’t know the difference. I’m going to change things.”
The laugh was ever so bitter, “Because it’s the right thing to do for the right reason. You … I … made the wrong choice. We picked wrong after it all happened. We should have picked the right Eternal. We didn’t.”
Lily shook her head, trying to get rid of the pain within her, but it just got worse still. “Why am I hurting so much?”
“Because I’m here and we both can’t be.”
Lily’s voice was so quiet, “Are you going to …”
“No. But …”—the other Lily held up the wish—“… but this makes something special possible.”
Lily looked at the paper, still confused. She knew what it said … didn’t she? It was all so confusing now, and just getting worse by the moment.
“He asked for a second chance, Lily. He wants us. No, that’s not right. He wants you. He doesn’t want you to make the choice to leave, to leave him behind.”
For an instant, Lily’s thoughts cleared, “I’d never leave him.”
“You would. You … I did.”
The confusion came back; which him was she talking about? She gave her heart to him; she gave her soul to him. God, it was so confusing, and the pain just got worse and worse by the moment.
The other Lily continued: “We have a chance to fix this, to be happy, really happy. He wants this, I want this, and, if you could only understand, then you’d want it, too.”
“Please, tell me.”
Lily felt a hand on her chin and she looked into her own eyes. “If we choose as we did, you will lose them both. If that happens then we’ll spend our life after waiting to die.”
Lily finally saw the look in her own eyes: the look of loss, of self-loathing, of certainty that there was nothing to live for. “I’m sorry.”
Her other self held the wish up to her. “Then, together, we fix it.”
For a long moment they both looked at the wish, and then they both touched it with their fingers.
Another a flash of both light and darkness came …
… and there was one Lily, with horns and tail, wearing the oversized shirt, and sitting on the couch, waiting for him to return to her. She heard him approaching, and made her horns and tail vanish from sight.
“Are you okay?”
She looked at him, holding back the tears and said, “I’m perfect.”
“How’s the headache?”
“Nothing to worry about. But …”—she held the wish to him, and the confusion was so plain to see in his eyes—“… I need you to read this.”
“What’s it say?”
“Read it? Please?”
“Because you’ll never believe me if you don’t.”
Speak into the Air
Because he loved her, because it was important to her, Lily’s Eternal read.
I have a wish.
I’m sure you have seen many of them. There are demands on you …people asking for things every moment …for themselves.
I’m not asking for me. I’m asking for her.
You know her as Lillian. I call her Lily.
Once she was here. Then someone appeared and offered her something. Something that she couldn’t explain to me. Said that I would never believe her.
She was right, of course. How could someone like me understand what she was offered? All I knew was that she was going to leave and never return.
I should have fought for her, you would say. But it’s impossible to fight for something that is already gone. When she told me she was going, her mind was made up already. She told me it wasn’t my fault. Nothing I did made her decide to go, she said.
But she left.
My life ended on that day.
I don’t know why I am still here, why I am writing this, what good it will do. It took years to stop thinking about her. I thought I did.
But in my dreams I saw her. I saw her with someone else. She looked like she was happy. I could never hear her voice or see them clearly, but something wasn’t right. When I woke, the dreams were gone in a moment, with an echo of her in my thoughts until the day pushed it aside for the things that I had to do.
Then it all changed.
When I dream now, I see her sitting in the middle of an empty room, looking out a window. Alone. She isn’t happy; she grieves, and I can almost touch her in my dreams. But something stops me, pulls me away from her. I call out her name and she doesn’t hear me.
Every night, the same dream; every night she doesn’t hear me.
The dreams are all that I think about now. She is Lily; I know she is, in spite of the horns and tail, in spite of the gloom. She is the woman that I never should have let go of.
I have heard stories of a world called the Realm, of a Queen named Tera. She’s there with you,or so the mystics have told me. Explained to me how you are compassionate, how you are not, as I thought, evil …
How you care.
I have a wish for you.
This part of the wish is for you. Please try and help her. Please?
The other part of the wish is that you give Lily this note so she can read the rest herself.
I’m sorry I let you go. I’m sorry that I didn’t fight for you, didn’t convince you to stay. If I had the chance to do this all over again, none of this would happen. You’d be happy.
Maybe you would stay with me, see that being here was better than doing what you did.
I wish that there was a way to make you happy, even if that meant losing you again.
Life has been empty without you. My dreams tell me you feel the same.
I wish that it had been different.
Please, help me to make it be different.
He looked at the note, dog-eared, the paper turning color from white to shades of brown and gray. It didn’t make any sense at all. He’d never written such a thing.
“Lily, is this a joke?”
She shook her head, “No, not even close to one.”
The look on her face kept him from laughing or dismissing everything out of hand. Instead he took a spot beside her on the couch, set the note, as he saw it, to the side and took her hand. “Explain it to me.”
She smiled, that little, little smile that was her way to steel herself when she needed to tell him something. That told him that, whatever was going on, it was important to her, and so it was to him as well.
“I am … I am not the Lily you know right now. I am a Lily that comes after she makes a choice; one that means she’ll leave you and never return.”
He nodded slightly, “Okay. How do I know that’s for real?”
She sighed and then stood up, turning to face him still on the couch. “I’ll show you.”
She seemed to shimmer, and then he saw her in a silver dress, one that just made her look stunning. And there in her hair were a pair of small amber horns, while, peeking out from under her dress, a heart-tipped amber tail appeared, as well. Then a pair of angel wings was on her back and a halo was above her head.
He just looked at her for a long moment.
Lily didn’t know what to make of his reaction, and she began to turn away from him, thinking that all was lost … forever.
“Lily … Please don’t.”
The tone of his voice made a lump catch in her throat. He couldn’t possibly accept this … all of this … so quickly, could he?
“I don’t understand what’s going on. I don’t need to. I know that something is wrong. Talk to me … please?”
She turned back to him, her tail wrapped around her waist like a belt. “There is a place called the Realm. There are beings there called succubi and incubi … I …”
“It’s not important.”
Her only reaction to that was to blink.
“It’s not important because you are still the woman I love. What you are now, or then, doesn’t matter. You do.”
She put her hands over her nose and lips before continuing in a soft voice, “I should have known better. But I didn’t. I …”
“No Lily. If this is supposed to be a chance to change things, then tell me how we do that. What you are talking about …” He picked up the note, folded it, and showed it to her. “This says that we have a second chance to make things right. How do we do that?”
She wrung her hands, “Become like me. Come with me … please?”
“Is that all it takes?”
She laughed, “Oh probably not. It was hell getting to be here, to see you, to have this chance. It can’t possibly be that easy.”
He stood up, still holding the note in his hand. “It doesn’t matter. All that does matter is that whatever happened to you … to me. It’s not going to happen again.”
Lily started to cry, sobbing, words trying to come out of her, not making any sense at all. He came close, the note in one hand, his other now touching her chin and drawing her to look at him in his eyes, his deep chocolate brown eyes. “We will be okay.”
“I hope so.”
“I know so.”
Then a voice called out … “Lillian.”
The note glowed again, brightly, and then a flash of both light and darkness came …
Speak into the Air
Lily found herself and her Eternal standing in the mists between the Realm and the mortal world again, She held onto him tightly: “We aren’t in danger, we have a short way to go and we’ll be safe.”
He was concerned, of course–anyone would be–but he nodded, “Okay, but who was that voice I heard?”
The voice came back. “Lillian.”
It was a voice she hadn’t heard, but wanted to, for so long. But after reading the wish, understanding what was wrong with her life … She found she didn’t want to so much anymore. She didn’t want this to happen, but it was, and now … now the truths would come out and … what would be would be.
“Who is that, Lily?” This from her Eternal, the one she should have taken with her, been with … then everything would have been exactly right.
“You should not be here … human.” This from her Incubi, her other, her … No. He was a lot of things, but he wasn’t her Eternal. She finally understood that now.
Her Eternal instantly despised the tone that was being used towards Lily. Whoever this was, he didn’t seem to care about Lily in the way he spoke her name. Feeling Lily tense, her Eternal held her closer. “I’m here.”
Lily squeezed his hand tightly and then turned to face the other in the room. She just looked at him, his name caught in her throat. For the first time, she recognized the darkness in his tone, the need to be in control of everything … including her. At first he hadn’t been that way, but he changed over time … Still, she had to greet him, and the words felt like sandpaper as they finally came out: “Hello … Riel …” How do you speak to someone that passed on years ago and now … now was a shadow … a memory … a …
He took hold of her other arm, his black eyes glinting, black tail slithering behind as he leered at her. “You are mine, Lillian. Leave him behind. I am all that you need.”
Lily was trying to figure out what to say when her Eternal took that choice from her: “Bullshit! Let go of her if you know what’s good for you.”
Lily moved to place herself between the two of them … and then something happened that she never expected. Her Tail appeared and wrapped her arms around Riel: “It’s about time you tried to stop her. I was wondering where you were hiding.”
He let go of Lily and turned away from her, “Angela … It’s been a while … I’ve missed dominating you so very much.”
Angela purred as she stroked her fingers against his neck, “Oh I’m sure you have … or rather you’ve been waiting for the chance for all of this to start all over again … for you to have Lily all to yourself so that you could have me.”
Riel’s growl was something Lily had never heard before … and it was frightening. “Shut up, Angela.”
“Oh no, the wish makes many things possible, and now, finally, Lily is going to find out exactly what happened and why.”
Lily didn’t know what to make of what was happening and, when Angela threw Riel to the floor and straddled him, she just became more confused than ever.
“Call her by her name, the name her Eternal would call her. Say it.”
“Her name is ‘Lillian.’”
When Riel said that something clicked in Lily’s mind. He’d never called her “Lily.” Not once. It had always been “Lillian” and never “Lily.” But he was supposed to be her Eternal … but he wasn’t … but …
Her Eternal held her close: “Lily, please: what’s happening here? How can you be there with him and here with me?”
Angela answered that question, “I’m Lily’s other half. I’m one of the Succubi, like Riel is one of the Incubi, and … and, well, I share her body in our world.”
Lily turned to him, “When I left you, I went with Riel to another world. There I was changed into what I am now. Angela is … my other half, sort of. See, I have a different color tail than she does? When she’s in control, then I change a little so that others know it’s her.”
Her Eternal smiled, “I’ve heard of the devil on your shoulder, but this is way past that, isn’t it?”
Lily nodded, “It is. Sorry… Without going through it all, it’s hard to explain it.”
Angela struggled a bit with Riel, “You mind if I interrupt? You two can talk later when we get things fixed the way they should have been from the …”
Riel’s roar was piercing as he pushed Angela off him and then pinned her down. “Everything was and will be perfect, Angela. Lily will go home, and she’ll never remember this, and then I’ll have you both.”
And he did … sort of … when Lily rushed over and shoved him off Angela, the three of them in a tangled heap of limbs and tails as they fought to gain control over the situation.
Or they thought.
“Stop this! Now!”
The voice was her Eternal. He held the wish in his hand, and Lily found she couldn’t disobey him. But then, neither could Riel or Angela, either. “This says I can stop what happened to make Lily suffer. I’m going to do that, come hell or high water.” The three of them didn’t move as he came over and knelt beside them all. “I want answers. Riel, why did you take Lily away?”
It was obvious that Riel didn’t want to answer, but he did so, “Because Angela would be with Lillan. I knew this. Through her, I would have Angela again. She was … is …”
Angela finished the words, “I was his mate long ago, before the Realm changed. He never became a Tail, never really accepted the changes, but … but I did.”
Lily put her hands to her cheeks and started to cry, “It never was anything but you having her, was it? That’s why you never talked about your Tail, why Angela never told me about her past life … Because you were it and …” She pushed herself away from him and then collapsed crying between them and her Eternal.
“You are both assholes. How could you do this to her?”
“Angela is mine, I will not have her share herself with anyone else. She obeys my will as her mate.”
Angela looked away, “I did as he commanded me. I admit that. But when Riel passed on, he didn’t go into the Lake to be reborn as a Tail. He ended himself, and that wrecked Lily’s life because I couldn’t allow her to be with anyone else but him. Because … because that was the last thing he told me instead of releasing me from our pact.”
Lily’s Eternal fumed as he walked back and forth, then stopped, “All right, you are both idiots, and stupider than anyone I have ever met.” He then went over to Lily, knelt down beside her and held her in his arms as she sobbed quietly, “The wish says that I want the chance to fix this, to make it right. Tell me how, Angela. You seem to have all the answers, and at least you are talking to me.”
Angela took a shuddering breath, “I don’t know.”
There was a long silence then; none of them had the answer other than the wish he held in his hand. Then, off in the distance somewhere, there was the sound of heels clicking as a woman began to emerge from the mists.
“Hello … I think this is where I come in.”
Lily’s Eternal turned to see a woman with wild raven hair, green eyes, and a long red tail and horns appearing through the mists walking towards them all, her red jacket swaying behind her and a determined look in her eyes. “Hello, Lillian … Are you all right?”
There was something different about how this woman spoke to Lily. After the barely controlled anger of Riel, her voice was … almost motherly. She seemed worried about Lily. No, she actually was worried about her. Lily’s Eternal found that he liked her immediately.
The smile on Lily’s face made him like this woman even more.
“And you are?” he asked.
She stopped close to him and Lily, “Oh I think you know who I am, my dear …”
He looked at her, then at the note in his hand. “Tera.”
She smiled, and that smile gave him some hope. “Correct. I’ll give you a cookie later, but first we’re going to fix this mess.”
She walked over to Riel and, for the first time, he looked … worried. It was obvious that she wasn’t pleased with him. “Riel, how nice to see you again … and I mean that in the worst possible way. Angela, nice to see that you came out of the shadows, too, because now that we’re all here, we can fix this.”
She then turned to look at Lily and her Eternal, “What happened to you both wasn’t right. It never should have happened, but Lillian was manipulated by Riel and I should have seen it from the beginning. I missed it because there was something between Riel and Lillian and it isn’t my place to interfere … most of the time.”
Her Eternal was about to protest about her using that name but Tera held up one finger, “I know, her name isn’t Lillian, not to you. She’s always complained about me doing so … at least, until recently, that is. Please allow a Queen her minor quirks, will you?”
He nodded, and then she continued, “You see, there has to be a connection in order for someone to call another ‘Eternal’ in our Realm. There is one between Riel and Angela, but there is also one between him and Lillian.”
At the building anger in his eyes, Tera shook her head, “Allow me to continue, please, if you would?”
Again he nodded. Lily placing a finger on his lips gave him the hint to shut up and listen.
“But the thing is, now that all of your are here, I can sense a connection between you, my dear, and Lillian, but also between you and Angela.”
He looked at her in confusion. Drawing Lily’s hand away, he stated, “I’ve never met her.”
Tera nodded, her tail moving slowly behind her as she continued, “No, perhaps not, but perhaps you have, in a dream? It’s possible, as we exist in dreams as well. Still that’s not important. What is comes to this: you are all connected. The way things should have been was that Riel should have entered the Lake to be with Angela, then the two of them would be reborn in the two of you when you came to the Realm and were transformed.”
She turned to look at Riel who now seemed to be ashamed, “He was afraid of losing control to another, to be only a part of the whole and not the whole. He was … is … proud, and that’s hard to overcome for any being. He also was jealous of the thought that someone else would have his mate, and that he couldn’t accept.” Tera walked over to him and then looked down on him, “Now, if he can accept that you are the Eternal, then this will be fixed. If he can’t, then all of this is for naught.”
Riel didn’t look up, “I need proof he is. You have none to give.”
Tera’s tail swished behind her, “Actually I do, thanks to Angela.”
Angela allowed herself a smile, “I am a schemer, aren’t I?”
Lily turned to look at her, “What are you talking about?”
“You can’t tell me you haven’t figured it out! The dress we both wear: It’s not that the one that wrote the note can remove it, it is that only our Eternal can.”
Lily blinked and then said, “Take off my dress, my Eternal …”
He slipped a finger underneath the strap resting on Lily’s right shoulder … but it wouldn’t move.
Riel laughed and then moved to do the same with Angela … and couldn’t.
For a long moment, the four of them didn’t say anything.
Tera’s sigh was long, “Come on … put the pieces together …”
It was Riel that did: “We can’t do it alone. Together we can.”
Tera snapped her fingers and pointed one of them at Riel, “Bingo! And you get a cookie, too …”
She then took Lily and her Eternal by the hand and led them over to where Riel and Angela were. “Accept that you are all, together, each other’s Eternals and all of this will be fixed. The only thing I cannot tell you is if that means Lily will suffer again or if it will have never happened.”
Lily looked at her Eternal, “It won’t matter if you are there.”
His answer was just, “I’ll be there. And it does matter.”
Riel looked at the two of them and then at Angela, “Forgive me … please? I …”
Angela put a finger on her Eternals’ lips exactly in the same way that Lily had done, “I can, because we’ll be together.”
Tera took the note from Lily’s Eternal and placed it on her right palm, “And so, the wish is fulfilled …”
The note glowed again, brighter than ever before, the lovers vanishing in its light and then Tera was left there … alone, the note crumbling into ash that passed through her fingertips …
Speak into the Air
Dawn broke over the Realm.
The orange-red rays of light streamed across the Lake of Fire, over the rolling hills and curves of the land. The Plains of Dreams were warmed by them and sent them further on their way, eventually arriving as they had for so long at a house that once greeted them with joy, excitement, and passion.
The light seemed to pause at the borders of the place, trying, it seemed, to decide if it should, or could, pass onto the grounds and be welcomed there, or if it would be rejected as it had been for so long. Time paused, the universe held still for an instant, as if waiting for a decision to be made …
… and then the light peeked over the hedges to discover that something had changed. The house … was starting to become a home once more.
Oh it was far from perfect. There was so much to do still to make it so. But there were signs that things were changing for the better, and that mattered. No longer a wreck, forgotten, lost to despair and grief, the house had begun to shine again with an inner light that said that those within it’s walls were … right again. Just … right. The walls were not quite so dirty and falling apart, but again had hints of the golden hue that accepted the warmth of the light. That light, given to warm those within its walls, sparkled here and there, the former glory of the house returning once more. The front doors now were lovingly polished to a shine that caught the rays and turned the wood into a fiery orange-brown. Within, all that had been abandoned and left to rot with time now was starting to return to what it was meant to be, the love of those within its walls given back to their home in return for the beauty with which it held and surrounded them.
Up the main spiral staircase, past a set of double doors lay the bedroom of those who lived in this house … no, no longer a house, but a real home, one where hope, love and passions were there to be seen unashamed. The light outside pressed against the windows of the bedroom and then warmed the place there were two bodies lay together in rest … finally. In the bed there, together, laid Lily, her amber tail entwined with that of her Eternal …
… a red tail.
For the first time in ages, Lily slept without tears, without loss, without the ache within her that reminded her of everything that she had lost when she came to the Realm. More so, her Eternal spooned against her, warm against her skin, comforting them both with the knowledge that he was there, where he should be, and would be ever more.
The light finally made its way over their eyes and the two were roused from their rest and opened their eyes to a bedroom that had a silver dress tossed off over a chair here, a pair of shoes scattered there. Bits of clothing abandoned, forgotten in the rush towards the evening that they had shared.
It was, however, very much a blur to them both.
Lily had to think about that for a moment. There was something in the back of her mind, something that had been weighing on her for ages, but it felt less and less important as the moments passed. “I remember looking for you.”
“I do, too. But …”
Lily placed two fingers on her Eternal’s lips, “It’s not important. We found each other, and …”
He took her hand in both of his and raised her fingers from his lips. He then said, in a voice that seemed to say that he hadn’t heard her say the word in … forever … “Say my name, please.”
Lily purred his name, long, slowly, and erotically, “Jesse …”
He smiled and raised himself off the sheets to cup his hands against Lily’s rear, pressing her against his own body. When he spoke her name, everything was, finally, right. “Lily … I love you.”
She pressed herself against him, her head over his shoulder, her hands rubbing against his back, the thoughts how she wanted him to take her brewing in her mind until she paused in confusion … There was a note sitting on the night table with both their names on it.
Jesse knew something was going on, “What’s wrong?”
“I’m … not sure.”
Jesse untangled himself and then stretched out across the bed, crawled over until he, finally, held the note in his hands. The card was written in Tera’s handwriting. Jesse opened it and then showed it to Lily. The note seemed to explain everything …
Welcome home. You’ve been away too long. Sorry the place is a mess, but I’m sure you will manage to sort all of that out in time. Huggles, Tera
The note was sealed with the Queen’s kiss.
“What’s she talking about?”
Jesse got out of bed and padded over to the bay windows that overlooked their garden, “Dunno. We’ll have to ask her … sometime.”
“You know that’s not going to do any good. She’ll just give you riddles that will …”
Lily paused as she watched Jesse press his hands against the window, his tail frozen in mid-swish as something caught his attention, “Lily?”
“Come over here, will you?”
Lily really didn’t want to, but nonetheless she wrapped a sheet around herself, if for no other reason than to tease her Eternal, and tiptoed up to him before whispering in his ear, “Yesssssss?”
“Why are there so many forget-me-nots?”
Lily looked out over the garden in some confusion; she couldn’t remember planting them. Or did she? Her thoughts were a jumbled mess this morning and her Eternal tracing a finger along her spine towards the base of her tail didn’t help her concentration all that much, either.
“Ummm … Don’t care right now …”
“I can make you care.”
“You can try … if you dare …”
Jesse laughed and drew Lily back to their bed, more than willing to make sure that Lily didn’t care about anything that morning save what he was going to be doing to her for hours on end. In the golden mirror on the far side of the room, an image of Riel and Angela laying together appeared there in the world of tails, the world tails only truly understood.
In that mirror, if Lily or Jesse had spent the time to look—which they didn’t just then—they would have seen that there, too, lay a silver dress tossed off over a chair, shoes scattered here and there. Bits of abandoned clothing no longer needed or wanted left scattered where they fell as Riel and Angela’s own night of passions was shared. But they, too, were awake, in each other’s arms, and wondering why the night before was so hazy, their thoughts so jumbled and unclear.
They weren’t spooned together in quite the same way, Riel’s body tensed slightly, an arm possessively over Angela’s waist, holding her close to him. Their tails were, however, entwined together in the exact same way as Jesse and Lily’s were. But the love they had for each other was a different one, which they shared in their own way.
Angela woke first and purred as her tail gave Riel’s a tight squeeze, “Worn out? I can get the oil …”
He growled, his body vibrating against hers, “You wouldn’t dare …”
She giggled and then the sound caught in her throat as she noticed that on their night stand lay a single folded note. Angela picked up the note and read it, thinking about it for a time before showing it to Riel who read it out loud, “Passions dark, passions light, together are. Tera.”
This note had also been sealed with the Queen’s kiss.
He laid there as his hand dropped to the sheets still holding the note, “You know, I wish that Tera didn’t speak in riddles all the time.”
Angela rolled over and then straddled Riel, smiling almost evilly as she traced a finger over his chest, “At least it’s her and not … you know who …”
He chuckled, “I don’t think we need to see that particular black tail here.”
Angela’s tail swished behind her as she considered what she would do to her own Eternal, “No. We don’t. I only need the one that’s mine.”
As the two couples within the walls spent the morning each in their own way, Tera walked into the garden along the cobblestone pathway, marvelling at the life around her and brushing her fingertips against the flowers that surrounded the path here and there. The grounds were still unkempt, what with all of the forget-me-nots that bloomed throughout bringing some randomness to the place. And with the grass not being cut just yet, or the trees pruned, or … But it didn’t matter … not really. There was time for that all to be tended by those that now were together once more.
Tera just smiled as she saw the forget-me-nots popping up here and there, knowing those within the home there would never recall exactly why they were there.
But Tera did.
And it made her smile.
It is not enough to have a dream or a wish. It is that your wishes and dreams should never be forgotten.
For, when they are remembered, and where love is very strong, sometimes, just sometimes, a dream’s wish can be made true.
The End of the Beginning
Be dreams real Jesse and Lily…