My heart, who means the world to both of us, wrote a story for the love and soul of my life. With my heart’s permission, I will be share that story on the Tale with you all…
A King’s Day
Keith woke up that late-August morning and stretched, languidly. The first rays of dawn were already peeking into the windows of their palace apartments, and he could feel the soft kisses of his Eternal on his horns and his lips. But Tera herself was nowhere to be seen. “A pity,” he thought, as the ritual of waking each other up with touches and kisses, her red horns rubbing against his own, their tails intertwined, was one of the special joys of their life together. Still, he knew that the demands of running the Realm, not to mention caring for her many daughters and sons in many worlds, were myriad.
Besides, this would be a special day . . . or perhaps he was hoping more for a special night.
In any event, he had duties of his own to perform around the Realm . . . and beyond. In short order he was up and washed. As he dressed, he walked past Tera’s special mirror and paused for a moment; there was his black-tailed self, whom, for others—even Tera—was a Tail-self. But of course Keith and his Tail were completely united, and his Tail never did anything independently of him. So he confidently tucked in his shirt and picked up the glass of orange juice from the night stand that . . . just who did put that there? . . . and drank it down. When he turned from the mirror, the black-tailed reflection winked.
He had munched on a croissant and was just heading out the door when he was sure he saw his love far down the lane. “Tera,” he called out, not sure she could hear, and was about to break into a run when there was a puff of yellow smoke, the smell of lemons, and a shower of daisies from the sky, followed by moans and a loud “EEK!”
The Incubi King rolled his eyes: “Miriam! What have you gotten yourself into now?” He turned away from the vanishing view of his true love and broke into a run around the west wing of the palace, toward the large elm, the sort that didn’t exist in much of the mortal realm any longer, which seemed at the center of the commotion. There swinging unceremoniously from the lowest limb by her bright yellow tail, was Miriam, while, a few boughs hire up, completely upside down, his blue tail flailing uselessly as he was caught by his left ankle, was Irving. Irving and Miriam were both dear souls, whose courtship was going brilliantly for the most part, but Keith was not alone in thinking they might best leave the more amorous moments to their tails.
“Morning, Miriam! Irving!”
“Your MAJESTY,” they both gasped as the yellow-tailed librarian tried her best to curtsey from the impossible position, while the King waved his hand.
“Now, you know how Tera and I feel about that stuff.”
“I’m . . . I’m sorry, Your Maj- . . . er, Keith,” Irving stammered. “I was just . . . um . . . well . . . erm . . . I was.”
Keith was lowering Miriam down. “Now, just take a breath and let it out, son.”
“Well,” Irving replied as he twisted his foot and fell to the ground in a heap, then got himself up and dusted off his front, “ummmm . . . Her Maj- . . . umm . . . Queen Tera”—Irving couldn’t get the word “Tera” our without “Queen” ahead of it—“she has been helping me with ideas for courting Miriam, and she suggested that I try some spontaneity. So I slipped into the romantic poetry section, where she was shelving, and whispered a sonnet into her ear . . .”
“. . . and he began to nibble my earlobe and kiss my horns,” Miriam continued, “and it was WONDERFUL. And, all of a sudden, I was thinking how good it would be to have him all to myself in my bed . . .”
“. . . and you know,” the blue-tailed curator chimed in, “that Miriam is living in that treehouse in the lakeside oak these days, so . . .”
“. . . you bampfed while . . . excited, shall we say, and landed in the wrong tree. Is that it?” Keith queried.
Miriam and her beau both nodded, a bit red-faced.
“This is the sort of thing you both have to get straight,” the red-tail tried to speak sternly, but comfortingly. “When you are charming and pleasuring mortals someday, you won’t get to have practice bampfs.” He put his hand on the young incubi’s shoulder and looked him firmly in the eye: “You need to focus. Think of where you want to be. See your destination in your mind. Feel it in your bones. And then, and ONLY then . . .”
There was a puff of blue smoke, and Irving was pleased to find himself in Miriam’s bedroom, next to Miriam’s bed, with . . .
. . . Keith. “I’m flattered, Irv. But you’re not who I’m looking for, especially not today, and I am darn sure I’m not who you have in mind.”
In a blink, they were back underneath the elm, and, before Keith could say “Try again,” there was a yellow poof . . . and Miriam was throwing her male companion onto her bed, gamely pulling his shirt off and . . . “Oh, no.”
“I’m afraid so, Miriam,” the King replied.
Back at the elm, he faced the two young lovers toward each other, and urged them to concentrate, and, after the longest second in many a day, there was a bampf . . .
. . . and neither she nor Irving was seen for two days, and there were reports of moans in the lakeside oak, with the occasional showers of daisies and bluebells, so it would seem they got it right.
Keith, meanwhile, ended up on the far side of the Angelkitty Mountains—so they may not have gotten it all that right. As he was about to bampf himself home, three of the angelkitties came up to him, insisting that they would be so honored to take him home, especially on this day of all days. And so he was soon being carried by three kitties flitting over the mountain peaks; he was sure that, far in the distance, below, he spied his precious darling at a farm stand by the orchard. “Put me down right there!”
“Oh, in public? With your shirt torn open like that? Oh, that would never do, Your Majesty!” the kitties exclaimed as they flew him home and, after a few false starts, into the window of the royal apartments.
He was still anxious to find his Eternal, so that they might make his own day special. As he changed his shirt, he wandered into her small study and glanced at her desk planner, anxious for a clue. He spied a post-it with the words “Bakery . . . noon” in red ink, in a hand that seemed a bit more Tail’s than Tera’s. That could only mean one place.
Safely through a portal into the mortal Realm, his tail and horns absent for the moment, Keith stepped into a warm and friendly kitchen. There was a large cuddly fellow in a liberally floured apron hunched over the far counter, and a faint scent of cherries hung in the air, despite the fact that Monte Cristo sandwiches were on the cooling rack.
“Oh! Keith!” the friendly pastry chef turned and offered a large hand to his visitor. “You just missed Tera. She came by to give me a wings recipe she said you both liked. As soon as the cake is . . . oh,” Baker suddenly realized he may have said too much.
“Are you making a cake for Tera, and wings, too?”
“I am not making a cake for Tera.”
“Who would the cake be for, then?”
“I am not making a cake for Tera.”
“Are you trying to avoid telling me something?”
“Have you ever dealt with Tail when she was in a mood? And remember, I don’t have any of those incubish powers.”
Realizing that he had to relent from his interrogation, both because Baker was caught in the middle and because guys, sometimes, have to stick together, Keith left the shop, munching one of the grilled sandwiches. She was planning a party. She loved him, and he loved her so much . . . but he wasn’t sure he wanted to share his evening with throngs of guests, especially when he was having no luck sharing his day with his dearest darling.
He felt his phone chirp in his pocket, and pulled it out, hoping it was Tera. “No, it’s just the bloody alarm,” He pressed a few buttons, and the word “Rugby” appeared on the screen. “Oops!” He needed to be coaching his team in the young incubi league in half an hour. Quickly he got himself to the nearest portal, and passed a familiar fence, where he saw an old friend (as in a friend who was clearly old) feeding the koi in the pond. “Have you seen Tera?”
“Oh, sure! Just about every evening, when I wave from the fence and we sit on the porch while the dogs romp in the yard.”
“I think you know that isn’t what I meant,” Keith sighed, his eyes rolling a bit. “Have you seen her today? Is she planning something?”
“In my experience, your bride is just about always planning something.”
Keith just glared a bit.
“Yes, Keith, she is my friend. And you are my friend, too . . . Aannnnnnnd there are situations I will never, ever get into the middle of: this is one of those, complete with huge, flashing, halogen warning signs, armed sentries, and alligators in the moat.
“Look,” the friend by the fence regarded the incubi king with a bit of pity in his eyes, “Tera really wants you to be happy, and really wants to make today special, and . . .” he took a deep breath “. . . really thinks that should include everybody who loves you from whatever Realms you both live in.”
“Do I look like I want that?”
“You really look like you want your Eternal all to yourself.” And, before another word could escape the royal lips, he continued, “I suspected every bit as much of that, and, if it makes you feel any better, I think she wants that, as well, and I tried to tell her that maybe, just maybe, what you and she want outweighs whatever she thinks Queen Tera should do.
“I tried to tell her that, but you know even better than her own heart does how she can be when she gets going like this.”
Keith closed his eyes, resigning himself to his fate.
“But it is only 1:59:55—leaving you an entire five seconds to hit the portal and get to Rugby, by the way—and I was looking for just the perfect gift for you. Something might yet happen . . .” He wandered away from the koi pond, humming as enigmatically as he could.
And the Incubi King and rugby coach, realizing he didn’t even have time for an exasperated sigh, took off in a dead run across the lawn, sprinting up the porch steps . . .
. . . and onto the Realm rugby fields, where his brother FreezeFrame and their friend the Fzy One were just getting ready to divvy up the coaching duties among themselves. This was clearly a bad idea: Realm Rugby was not as refined and restrained as the mortal kind. While players could only touch the ball with hands, feet or heads, and pitchforks were not allowed, they could use any part of themselves in play in whatever way they felt necessary, and the airspace above the pitch was in play up to the ozone layer. Fzy, with his military mind, could easily coach enthusiastic young succubi and incubi—Realm Rugby was co-ed—into something rather incendiary.
“Hey Fzy!” Keith patted the back of Tera’s hero, “How about you be the ref today?”
FreezeFrame winked at his bro’ with relief, and the play began. Even with the military mind relegated to a neutral role, the match quickly escalated, as it often did with the teen division. Players were tripping and tossing opponents with their tails, seducing each other mid-scrum, and somehow conjuring up a rather prodigious rainstorm (but only over the pitch). After a lightning strike less than a meter away from his feet, Keith’s blue eyes took on a steely quality, and he cleared his throat with a clear, calm, but forceful “aHEM!”
And the rain stopped.
But the damage was done. Players and coaches and referee left the pitch a bit before 6:00 all the same reddish-brown mud color from head to toe, many of them clustering into groups of two or three or more, laughing, to help one another wash up. ‘Hey, Keith!” Fzy called out, “you want to come grab a pint after you shower?”
FreezeFrame coughed, “Not tonight! Not tonight!”
“Oh, yeah, we all have to get to . . . oof!” The sentence was interrupted by FreezeFrame’s elbow in his ribs. “Well, ummmm . . . see you later . . . not that I mean tonight later . . . I just . . . Oh, screw it!”
Keith hoped for a quick tête à tête, at least, before whatever was in the works began working—even Tera had to change for the evening, right?—but he returned to the royal apartments to find Tera’s ankle boots on the floor, a varied selection of her clothes on her rocker . . . and his sweet wife quite gone, already dressed and out. So he dropped his own messy togs into the hamper and stepped into the hot, steamy shower.
As he lathered his arms and torso, he felt ten perfect fingernails rake down his back, and then soft but strong hands began soaping his tail, then cupping his bum. “Mmmmmm,” he growled, “you did have some me-time in your schedule.” He felt a tail wrap around his growing hardness, and, smiling, looked down to see . . .
. . . silver?
“Cassiopeia . . .” Keith pulled Tera’s girlhood chum around in front of him, under the water, and she began gently pinching his nipples and softly kissing his chest.
“I decided to give you a gift we can both enjoy, cutie.”
“You know I belong to Tera. I really am her Eternal.”
“Oh, of course, kiddo. But that’s no reason I can’t have a little fun with a nice piece of beefcake like you, is it?” She seemed to climb up him as she pulled his mouth in for a deep kiss. “If she was here, I’d let her play, too.” She batted her eyes.
“But she is busy with something,” Keith kissed her nose, “and I am pretty sure that she will be grumpy with both of us if we are late.” He pulled his visitor off of him, set her down lovingly, and gave her a playful pat on the rump as he put her out of the shower.
She glanced back with a mock-serious pout and a wink as she left. “I promise I’ll put on something less comfortable for the party. Pity.” She blew a quick kiss.
Keith, King of the Incubi, was dressed to the nines for a party—now confirmed by Cassiopeia—and resignedly descended the stairs to the great hall, took a deep breath, opened the door . . .
. . . and found no one.
Well, there was one person, in the sort of suit he hardly ever wore down by the fence. “Everybody is down in the rumpus room instead.”
“Why on earth would they be there?”
A pair of hazel eyes twinkled as the bearded face feigned an innocent look. “But I think the one guest you might be looking for,” he pointed to a side door, “went down the garden path a bit.”
Keith stepped out into the gathering twilight, hearing the music of a rather large affair coming from the lower levels of the palace, and noticed a light in the small guest cottage, with a wisp of smoke coming from the chimney. A few dozen steps down the path, he noticed a pair of black pumps tossed into the nasturtiums. A red silken cocktail dress looked almost like a Christmas garland on a small evergreen a bit closer to the house, and a lacy black bra hung from the doorknob. The newel post inside was festooned with matching panties, and the King’s own jacket was left behind as he now bounded up the stairs, following the cherry scent.
His tie hit the floor as he hit the top step, where he was greeted by an unusual sight: Tera’s special mirror from their own bedroom, along with three others like it, on either side of the king-size, four-poster bed, all facing in. A red tail popped out holding a sign: “Do you plan to stand there all night with your pants around your ankles and mouth open?”
Quickly, he was out of the pants and his shoes and over to the bed. A black tail reached out and pulled him in, and his favorite mouth was soon doing things he enjoyed even more than speaking—and he was quite taken with her voice. Because of the presence of the mirrors, whenever Keith rolled one way he was making love with red-tailed Tera; when he rolled the other, he found himself in the arms of Tail. At times they seemed to be in a ménage à trois, and once or twice during the evening—and this was impossible, because Keith and his tail were permanently united, right?—it almost seemed like a ménage à quatre.
As the first rays of sunrise slipped into the cottage, Keith, his hands in Tera’s hair, sighed contentedly: “I wish the night didn’t have to end.”
Tera looked up from her kissing, a sly smile forming on her face. She reached up to a tiny bauble hanging down from the canopy, almost like an ornament, and gave it a quick twirl. The world seemed to spin around them, and it was evening again. “it doesn’t have to end . . . yet.”
“What have you done?”
“It turns out,” she husked, pulling his face to her breast and kissing his horns, “that the Harry Potter box set in our Library’s Special Collection archive—where everything is a bit more special, you know—includes a working time turner.”
“And that is allowed to circulate?”
“Well, I was able to arrange a special loan,” she smiled, and resumed kissing her beloved’s horns.
After they had enjoyed the night a second time, they spun the time turner again.
When dawn returned a third time, Keith tried one more spin . . .
. . . and found himself and his Eternal, washed and dressed, stepping into the palace rumpus room as friends and loved ones cheered and sang. “It was only a loan . . . sowwy!” whispered Tera as they enjoyed all the people, the food, and the merriment in a much better frame of mind than even citizens of the Realm could imagine.
And, at the end of the evening, he got to take the most beautiful woman of all home with him. Sure, they needed a bit of rest, but there would be tomorrow for that.
Some days, it is particularly good to be the King.
And, for us, everyday is it particularly good to have friends like my heart and his Eternal in our world…