I lay in the warm embrace of Clack and my heart swam in my chest. I’d felt so alone just before he came in. Now, I was basking in a glow like none I’d ever experienced before.
These roller coaster emotions were just too much, so instead of trying to figure them out, I ignored them, and let myself enjoy the warmth of the big man behind me. No… not man, elf. The big elf behind me.
I reached up and touched my ears, I still wondered why if I were really an elf, mine had never gone back to being pointy. Clack insinuated it was part of a spell I’d been put under as a baby. Something to keep my identity hidden.
I reached behind me and felt the ears of my… whatever he was to me. Lover? No, not yet. Although, I really hoped he’d be my first. If he loved me, which, could that even be possible? If he did, wasn’t it a forgone conclusion that we would be lovers?”
He nuzzled into my hand as I ran it over the points of his ears. The action caused my own heart to swell. How could all this really be happening to me, of all people, just a little foster kid, me?
I scooted back against him, enjoying how it felt to have such a muscular body up against me. When I couldn’t sleep, my libido keeping me from doing anything other than turning to him, I turned over and looked at him face to face.
“I have no experience, I… I’m a virgin. I kissed a boy once in high school, but it was a dare, and he didn’t… I… well, I didn’t really like him.”
“Do you like me?” Clack asked.
I nodded, “Maybe too much,” I admitted.
He smiled, “then you understand how I’m feeling then.”
I paused then nodded, “I suppose I do. I won’t pretend to understand any of this. I’m just too inexperienced, but would you make love to me? I, I really would like you to be my first.”
Clack leaned up and smiled down at me. “You trust me to be that for you?”
I closed the gap between us, kissing him gently on the mouth, “I think I trust you to be anything for me.”
This seemed to catch the elf by surprise, and he nodded solemnly, I promise to make you feel as handsome as you are.” He said and I sucked in a breath as his hands began to explore my body.
My world changed that night as Clack did things to me I’d only ever dreamed of. I didn’t know what love felt like, but I did know something shifted inside me as his body moved against mine. When we woke the next morning, even the dim sunlight that shown in this part of the world looked just a little brighter. The water we drank tasted just a little sweeter, and the dry food we shared for our breakfast, just a little more flavorful.
I was almost sure Clack would lose interest in me sooner than later, and although the thought of that hurt every nerve fiber in my body, I was okay with it because of what I’d had with him last night. When General Bay and her mate, the intimidating General Olcarlamon came to collect us, I was ready for whatever may come.
Even if I had my memories erased, I knew what I’d felt last night would somehow never be lost. That was a beautiful comfort.
My heart still sang from making love to Milo the night before. Not even the Generals’ announcement that we were ready to move to the castle was enough to dissuade me.
At least until I stood in front of the drawbridge that separated Milo and me from my family’s castle. I hadn’t been here in decades. The last time had been with my father, before Atticon’s men had dispatched him in the raid that separated Milo from the Elvin world and had taken his parents at the same time.
I wondered if I should’ve told Milo I lost my father the same day he lost his parents? No, and it was too late now, the generals would remove his memories the moment we went into the keep.
The castle was huge, twice the size of most castles of the time. Of course, it was built to house an entire community of elves and keep them safe. It’d been built with magic, strong magic that pulled from the lay lines that lay beneath it.
That magic was so embedded into the castle that any elf, and probably even human could feel it long before they made it to the stone walls. The Generals flanked us as we walked inside. I was instantly surprised at what I saw. The interior had been completely transformed since last I’d been here.
It wasn’t modern, not like you’d expect in a renovation of today, instead, it looked like it must have the day it’d been built. White interior walls gleemed instead of the old stone that’d been there before. I knew the original castles had been painted white and even plastered inside the closed chambers. Of course, that’d been removed long ago.
The look was striking though. There were places for us to practice our swordsmanship. There were places for people to work, including a blacksmith’s forge, a place to house the horses, although, I hoped we didn’t end up with a lot of those. Horses and I never did do well together.
It looked like a proper medieval castle. I glanced at Milo who’s mouth stood agape. “We get to live here?” he asked causing the Generals to laugh.
“For the next few years, if we’re lucky.”
“I won’t be complaining, unless I have to use an outhouse, do I have to use an outhouse?” he asked his face scrunched up.
General Bay laughed again, “We’re elves, Milo. The occupants of this castle never used outhouses. We have magic remember?”
“Magical plubming?” he asked and this time I chuckled too.
“Sort of, it was made with magic, but not it’s just indoor plumbing. Come, I’ll show you.” I said feeling excited all of a sudden.
We wound through different rooms, up to where the main quarters were, but before I could open the door a spirit flew between me and the chamber door. “Who dares enter here.” The entity, one I don’t remember meeting stood between us and the door.
I held my hands out to block the Generals from intervening, but also to protect Milo. “I am Claciticus Riparian last descendant and guardian of the Riparian Sect, who dares stand between me and what is my birthright?”
The entity wavered, then separated into three different beings. All three women. “Welcome descendant. We have guarded your chamber, have you come to claim it?”
I pondered the question. Had I come to claim my chamber? The name that had all but disappeared form the lands. “I have come only for a short time, I have not decided to claim my place at the Castle Riparian, does this prevent me from having access?”
The three women ghosts looked between the others then at Milo. “You’ve claimed your mate, have you not?”
I looked at Milo and cringed. I didn’t respond, remembering my father telling me it was best to stay silent until I could respond with confidence. Otherwise, the spirits could become violent, especially if they felt I wasn’t being forthcoming.
“I have made no claims on this elf. I will make no claims on this property. However, this elf’s life is in jeopardy, we come to Castle Riparian, to ensure his safety. Is this not allowed?”
A large entity began to form in front of me, at first I couldn’t tell what form he was taking, although I was sure now it was male. When it finally came into focus enough that I could see his features I gasped. “Father?” I asked.
He smiled at me and nodded. Then he looked behind me at Milo. He bowed appropriately, then looked at me once again. “I see things have changed rather significantly since last I saw you.”
I nodded, but didn’t respond. This was in fact my father, but he was also now a ghostly guardian of the castle. There was protocol to be met.
“You shouldn’t be back unless you’ve decided to claim your place as clan leader to the Riperian clan, the guardians have summoned me, as they know you are my son and therefore, I’m more aware of the politics you are facing.”
He looked once again at the king. “You are allowed to stay, and you may occupy the chamber of the clan leader, but my son, you must decide if you will accept your place. How long do you intend to occupy this castle?”
I looked behind me at the Generals who had both gone white. Not even elves were comfortable with the deceased. Milo stood stock still, but interestingly enough, he didn’t seem concerned. This elf will need no less than three years before he is ready to care for himself. Can we remain here for that long?”
My father’s spirit looked at Milo again, then as if he was conferring with the female ghosts, they hovered around one another for several long tense moments. Finally the three female ghosts disappeared and only my father remained.
“You may occupy this space, but the guardians have a price that must be paid. You will be required to remain in the castle for one year after the three years are complete.”
“No father, I am committed to the… to this elf,” I almost called him the king, but I already knew my father understood who he was and it was best that I not mention who he is, not even in the hall of my ancestors. “I can’t abandon him when it’s time to fight.”
“The requirement is clear, but I will allow you to take your year anytime. He turned toward Milo then and when he addressed him the air in the hallway shifted, became more electric. “Will you allow this man to take a year for his duties to the Riparian clan, if we open the castle to you?”
I was thankful my father had caught on not to call this man the king. Milo nodded, “He has my permission to take all the time that is required.”
I thought about Milo’s answer. It sounded very royal all of a sudden. “Then it is so, Claciticus Riparian of the Riparian Sect, you may occupy the clan leader’s chamber for three years, then you will accept your place as the Riparian Sect’s clan leader, and serve our people for one full year, as the king allows.”
He glanced at Milo and for a quick moment he smiled then his face became serious again. “I wish you luck my son, if you have need for me, or for the guardians, you know how to summon us.”
I nodded, I did indeed know how to summon the guardians, although they certainly hadn’t looked like three very serious, and dangerous women when I’d met them before. Oh well, it wasn’t the place of the living to understand the world of the dead. I was just lucky they had allowed me access.
Not even the power of the king could undo the Castle’s magic. Had they forbidden us access, access would’ve been denied. End of story.
I walked into the chamber and was overcome with the memories of my childhood. Very little had changed in here. In fact, it still smelled slightly of my mother’s floral perfume she used to make from the wildflowers that grew along the river’s edge.
I would change the bedding, air it out, and make it our own. If Milo chose to share this chamber with me, it should be ours, not my parent’s energy that flowed around this room. Although, for a moment, I was certainly glad to have the memory of them so fresh in my mind once again.
Milo hadn’t moved. Instead, he scanned the room from outside the chamber. “I… I don’t believe I should go in,” he said. “This isn’t for me.”
I looked at him strangely, then over at the two generals who had also not come into the chamber. “The energy is very strong here, Clack. I would recommend you give Milo the suites across the hall.” General Bay said.
I nodded, and understood all too well this was the consequence of me putting off the responsibilities of clan leader. I was allowed in, my mate was not. Or maybe, my father and the guardians had understood the king wasn’t my mate, that he hadn’t made the commitment. Either way, General Bay was correct.
“It’s a shame,” I said as I exited the chamber so my father could hear. “Milo would’ve been safer there than any other place in the castle.”
Milo placed his hand on my arm calming me instantly. “It’s okay, I.. I felt a lot of love along with the barrier. I don’t mind not sharing your chamber, and who knows, when the guardian spirits get used to me, maybe they’ll change their minds.”
“You’re very astute even without your powers,” I said quietly in case anyone was listening in.
“I don’t think you need magic to be intuitive, besides, I sorta liked your guardian spirits, and your dad’s pretty hot, for a ghost.”
General Bay cackled behind me, even as I froze. “Milo, never say that again, never, do you hear me?”
He just laughed, “okay soldier, lead the way. Show me where I’m going to be living.”
Next week Milo and Clack will take a break so I can share the first chapters of More than October! That's why you get two chapters of Milo and Clack this week! :)