“What brought about this metamorphosis?” Harran asked, as we sat beside one another in the large and very opulent dining hall. If the palace in Dovetail is a marvel, The Summer Palace in Brightcoast is a delicate gem. Everything feels deliberate and luxurious and beautiful, if there’s anyone who looks out of place there it’s certainly Harran, who still wears his simple leggings and loose fitting tunics.
“I’m not sure what you mean,” I said and took a sip of my wine, a light pink vintage that it turns out the region makes loads of. He shook his head. “Do you mind?”
“Not a bit,” he said sipping his own. We both glanced down the table to Eric who was glancing over occasionally. “I didn’t think I’d get to spend any time with you, frankly.” I smiled.
“I’m sorry about that,” I said, “my priorities have been skewed. Can I make it up to you?” He smiled.
“I think we can come to some understanding,” he whispered, his voice low and husky. Suddenly I’m fourteen in the parlor at Pantona again, desperate for his attention, for him to kiss me, tell me I’m special, touch me. “If you’re interested,” his hand slipped to my thigh.
“Yes,” I said softly, “I am.” He grinned and carefully fingered the light silk of my dress.
“You’re sure?” He said. I nodded. “I’ll come to you tonight then.” I smiled.
“I look forward to it,” I said and took another long sip of wine. After we ended dinner people broke off to go to various places. Probably my favorite thing about this summer court is how casual it is. There is of course traditional coffee and some music in the parlor, and whiskey, cards and conversation in the library. But as many people adjourn for long walks on the beaches, or nights in the town, or just go to their rooms. In Dovetail it’s not nearly so easy, with the long banquets, the entertainment staying in the hall and everyone asking for access. Tonight I made a brief appearance in each of the main gatherings before heading towards the grand staircase to go to bed and not alone.
“If you’re looking to punish me, you could be more subtle about it,” Eric called out from an alcove, walking out, holding a bottle and then taking a big swig. I looked at him and sighed.
“Are you drunk?” I asked as he stepped closer to me. He shrugged. “That’s not like you, Eric.”
“I thought you liked this sort of thing,” he said and wrapped his arms around my waist. I looked up at him. “You do look lovely, Annalise,” he whispered. “And if the flirting was to make me jealous, it worked.”
“And if it wasn’t about you at all?” I said sharply. He laughed.
“Then it wasn’t,” he said, “and I’m still jealous.” I broke away from him.
“You didn’t have to be,” I said, “so you can comfort yourself with that.” I turned away and rushed up the stairs and then after turning the corner and being sure he hadn’t followed I slowed down and reached my room and took a deep breath and turned the knob. Harran was already waiting and I smiled nervously.
I felt shy all of a sudden. But he stood up and took my hand and then kissed me gently.
“I’ve wanted this for so long, Lisette,” he whispered. “But if for a moment you aren’t feeling good,” his hands slid gently down my sides lingering on my breasts, “I need you to tell me. I want to make you feel so good, Beautiful,” he kissed my ear then and I exhaled gently as he moved to my neck and we moved in unison past the threshold of the sitting room to the bed and falling back onto it.
I grabbed the back of his head and kissed him deeply. He grunted and slid the straps of the gown down and slipped it past my breasts tearing as he did, he paused.
“It’s alright,” I said and pulled his shirt over his head, “don’t stop, please.” He smiled and pulled the rest of it off.
“Marina might kill me,” he said with a cheeky grin. I laughed and slid my hands over his chest which was so perfectly sculpted I thought I was dreaming.
“I promise she’ll understand,” I said, “I’m reasonably sure that was the desired effect of the thing.” He grinned and slid one hand to my hip and used the other to spread my thighs, before moving one finger into me, I whimpered and threw my head back.
“It was very effective,” he whispered, and then a second finger, “you walked in and I was hard.” I groaned and bucked against him. “Oh you like this, hm?”
“Yes,” I mumbled, “oh yes,” he laughed and kissed me. I moaned more as he kept moving his fingers into me, feeling and pinching. His mouth moved down me and found my nipple as he sucked and played with me I closed my eyes and was lost in it. In him. I groaned and whimpered, running my hands down his back and then I felt myself finish, letting out an involuntary moan and then, “oh Harran, gods.” He moved to be on his knees over me.
“I’m glad to have pleased you, majesty,” he whispered. I was panting and giggled up at him. I propped up on my elbows and smiled and kissed him.
“You have pleased me,” I said. “But we aren’t through yet.” He laughed as I pulled down his pants and then kissed him. He drew down and into me and then I exhaled, my legs wrapped around him. He pumped in and out of me and moaned my name softly. I needed to be closer to him, even then and grabbed onto his shoulders. He took the hint and took my thighs.
He’s so different from Tristan. Somehow he’s more attentive and yet seems to be thinking about it less. He’s hard and strong and doesn’t seem to be shying away from using that strength to move us. In fact he even lifted me up to ride him a while before grunting and finishing in me. After, resting his forehead on my chest.
“Gods,” he muttered, “that was worth the wait, I’d say.” I laughed and fell away from him back against the pillows as he rolled over and looked at me.
“I think so,” I said and brushed his hair off his his face and kissed him. “Harran,” I said softly.
“Yes, Lisette,” he said softly.
“Do you mind that I don’t love you?” I asked. He smiled.
“No, darling, I don’t think I do,” he said, “it’s enough for me that you want me.” I smiled and snuggled close to him, falling asleep feeling terribly safe.