The Family Stone (Chapter 13)

‘I have her soul?! Nah, that can’t be true. I don’t know magia, I know jack shit!’ she says exasperated. ‘…..your Highness.’ She heard a soft ‘ting’ go off inside her head.

She stammers. ‘Wait, why are you telling us about these things that happened? Did you not keep mentioning that aiding a traitor is execution in your kingdom?’ Alex raises an eyebrow, she feels she’s on to something and she has an idea what’s happening, more or less.
‘Or does this mean you are quite able to pardon Teg – if we do something for you in return?’ she concludes.
‘My Domina, my word, you are quite the clever girl! Beauty and brains, I expect nothing less from such an extraordinary being like you. But honestly, I prefer my association with any of you not to be known.’
‘And where will that get us, your Highness? Possibly getting ourselves into another trouble with another kingdom?’
‘Perhaps but if you are careful, surely you will dodge petty inconveniences.’ Gywn teases, trying to convince the trio that they are capable of being incognito.
‘Does this completely pardon Teg?’ Alex bargains.
‘We will welcome him back to the Kingdom, restoring him all his rights as a citizen of the kingdom of Tylwyth Teg and earning back his high ranking position. And before I forget, he will gain back his honour IF all goes according to plan. You have my word, Domina.’
‘You have not discussed what we need to do in order to gain all this back for Teg. What is the condition?’ Boon is quite impressed at how Alex is negotiating with the King. When Stēlla was his Domina, he was repeatedly instructed by her to negotiate, talk or clean her house. This is quite a scene to behold.
‘Oh, I only need something very simple, Domina,’ he chuckles. ‘I would like to resume the annual visits the mortals were permitted to during the month of May.’
Alex was taken aback by this request. ‘Why don’t you go ahead and do it?’
‘I wish things were as simple as it seems, Domina. But what I need is the approval of the old Gods to open the gates of my Kingdom again.’
‘Which old Gods…like Cthulu?’ Alex asks him, without missing a beat. Gywn stares at her, wondering what she means. She hates it when no one gets her jokes. ‘I mean, which old god are you referring to, your Highness? You don’t have to be subtle with us.’
Gywn smiles at her. ‘I like that you are very open to suggestions, Domina. Well, if you must know, Tellūs would be the most appropriate god to approach.’
‘You’re asking for the impossible,’ Alex couldn’t believe his request. How the hell will they get to Tellūs? They can barely hold off a bunch of shadowy creatures.
‘It’s not impossible if you get things right, Domina.’
Alex gives it a thought. It may not be as simple as they think but surely they can figure a way to do it. After all, Teg is a good friend, perhaps even a better friend in the last life.
‘Good,’ Alex gets up, stands in front of the King, spits on her hand and puts her hand forward towards him. ‘I will do this quest for you. Now, give me a spit shake, pretty boy….I mean, your Highness.’ She smiles at him, hoping she’s dazzling as he thinks. Whatever it takes, she thought. No matter how insane it is, she adds.
Gywn gets up, facing her and stares her down. Alex doesn’t budge, still smiling at the tall menacing figure. A smile breaks into the King’s face, spitting on his hand and takes her hand. ‘I like this. This is intimate and I approve.’
‘We have plenty of witnesses. I hope you keep your word, your Highness.’ She curtsies.
‘Why of course, Domina.’ He bows deeply, grinning.
‘Okay.’ Alex looks back to her companions, ‘what now?’
‘Perhaps a safe passage…for a short time,’ Teg suggests, poker faced.
‘A splendid idea, Teg,’ the King praises Teg openly in front of his subjects. Gywn claps his hand together twice. A row of ladies, with covered faces appears. Their eyes can still be seen and Alex swears that they were sparkling. They were carrying a single mug on a tray. The serving ladies approach Alex, Boon and Teg elegantly as if they were floating by them. Alex is amazed; Boon remains nonchalant while Teg remains indifferent by it all. They leave a mug in front of Alex and Teg, surely recognizing a Libra that doesn’t need to eat or drink. Then they proceed to pass the rest of the subjects, leaving them a mug one by one. Alex wonders where the mug itself is being refilled since they are only carrying one of each.
‘I’m sure you are all weary with the arduous journey that you just had,’ he tells them. ‘I wish your luck will improve and I am optimistic for a safe journey ahead.’ He lifts his own cup, ‘I propose a toast. May you find what you are looking for, Domina Alexandria’ He proceeds to drink from his cup, emptying it. Alex takes the cup in front of her. She doesn’t think she had any choice but to drink from it too. The last thing she wants is to embarrass her friends, especially Teg. She lifts her cup to her lips, and hesitates but drinks from it anyway, emptying it like the King.
As soon as she swallows the drink, everything quickly becomes hazy. Alex feels herself slouch towards the ground. She doesn’t seem to have any control over her body. She sees Boon’s silhouette not far from her and he’s already lying on the floor. Arms sweep her up and she sees Gywn’s hazy silhouette.
‘You promised…’ she says struggling to speak.
‘Shh. Sleep, Domina. If I may be bold, I will steal a little something I’ve always yearned for.’ Before she can protest, she felt his lips on hers; and like a snap of the fingers, she opens her eyes to darkness and she first thing she sees are the twinkling of the stars in the sky.

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