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Loose Threads

Thirteen

Dominique watched as Kasumi entered the dressing room they’d allocated for one of the physical inspection rooms. “Good evening.”

“Good evening, Dominique.”

“OK, do you want me to strip too?” When Kasumi looked surprised, Dominique explained. “Some people prefer if their inspector is nude too so they’re not alone with a clothed official. Some of the people who are like that are even in my family.”

That would explain why the Archmage had changed from the clothes Kasumi had seen her wearing earlier into a t-shirt and shorts and was now barefoot. “That would actually be helpful. It would make this more like preparing for a bath.”

Dominique pointed at a chair. “You can put your clothes there. Oh, and put your pokedex on top of them while you’re at it.”

“Why?”

“I’ve got some video to transfer to it from mine. I’ll explain when we’re done. And don’t worry, this won’t take long. I know you’ve already been checked by Eve and I’m just looking for injuries for the contest Iain started. None of us got close to a Zombabe today, but rules are rules and one of the rules is that if you’re not inspected you get disqualified.” Dominique pulled off her clothes and tossed them onto a nearby box.

Kasumi undressed more slowly, carefully folding her clothes and laying them one on top of the other in the order she intended to put them back on when done. Lastly she put her pokedex on top before turning to Dominique. “I am ready for your inspection.”

She was surprised when Dominique started by casting a spell. “This spell is going to detect injuries less than twenty four hours old even if they were already healed or regenerated. It’ll leave a glowing mark where the injuries were. If I find anything, you can try to explain the injury and if we disagree on their source Eve or Lucifer will come in and use a truth spell while Theodora monitors to prevent anything underhanded on anyone’s part. All recordings will be deleted afterwards.”

“That is a very unusual spell.”

Dominique smiled. “All of today’s inspectors know this particular spell and I taught it to them because we have a lot of contests and pools about a lot of things. On a working cattle ranch it’s easy for some of them to involve avoiding injury while still doing the job. On the other hand, some of them involve accruing more than a certain minimum number of injuries, although most of those are sex play related.”

“You have unusual betting habits,” Kasumi observed.

“Stand at attention facing me.” Dominique continued as Kasumi complied. “I’m sure your harem does too, it’s just that we don’t have to hide the pools from Iain and yours hide theirs from you. Pokegirls compete in everything possible and keeping score on how many pools or bets someone wins is a competition just as much as how many hours we work out or how many kilometers we run for training before we throw up.” She looked Kasumi up and down. “Raise your arms over your head, palms facing me.”

Kasumi was surprised at the end by the fact that Dominique never touched her during the inspection and, when it was done, she eyed the Archmage curiously. “I thought you’d have to handle me during this or was my treatment special?”

Dominique shook her head. “These inspections aren’t supposed to be sexual and some people don’t like others to touch them outside of sex. For example, Daphne can be very testy about that sort of thing unless it’s Iain grabbing part of her anatomy and frankly I’m not big into casual touching with everyone either. So, no, this wasn’t something special for you. By the way, you were uninjured and are therefore still eligible to win the contest.” She flashed a grin. “I’m going to enjoy my week with him.” She grabbed a pokedex from her shorts and connected it to Kasumi’s. “And here’s the video I want you to see.” She looked at Kasumi while the transfer was taking place. “I don’t think you should tell Iain I gave you this for at least a decade, but he’ll just yell at me for a little bit if you do before then. I think there’s something on this that you should know now. This is a video of a conversation between Iain and me that my twee put together. Now you don’t have to watch it, and there’s no real harm if you don’t, but I thought you might be curious about what Iain thinks about you and I wanted to give you that opportunity.”

“Shouldn’t I wait until Iain wants to tell me those things?”

Dominique smirked. “You’d be waiting forever then because there are some things he’d never tell you unless some rather special circumstances occurred, and they’re unlikely unless you watch the video in the first place.” She disconnected the pokedexes and put Kasumi’s back on her clothes. “And the answer to your next question is I’m doing this because I love Iain and I love my family. I am secure in Iain’s love for me and I would deny him nothing that wouldn’t cause me large amounts of discomfort.”

“I don’t understand.”

Dominique smiled. “That’s understandable, Kasumi. You don’t have the right frame of reference yet, but you will after you watch that video.” She quickly slipped on her clothes. “Unless you have some kind of issue with this room, this is where you and your harem will sleep tonight. I’ll send in Giselle and the others if you’d like. Dinner will be in an hour and someone will come get you when it is.”

Kasumi reached for her clothes, putting her pokedex to the side. “Thank you and please send my girls in.”

Dominique waited in the doorway until Ayame joined her before leaving. Nishiko and Giselle came in a few minutes after Dominique had left. “We will be sleeping in here,” Kasumi announced as she finished dressing.

“Yes, mistress,” Giselle said. She took charge and the room soon had their sleeping paraphernalia set up and ready for use. “Mistress?”

Kasumi looked up from where she was contemplating her pokedex. “Yes?”

“I have been told that we will not be required to participate in the guard rotation for the night. Do you wish me to protest this and insist that we be involved?”

“Are Ygerna’s pokegirls participating?”

“I do not believe so, mistress.”

“Then Iain does not think his guests should be part of his defensive plans. As we have not trained in coordinating our actions with theirs, it is a wise decision on his part and we will not interfere.”

Giselle didn’t look satisfied. “Mistress, we were hoping to see combat again. It has been many years.”

Kasumi smiled at her alpha. “Iain has offered to take us feral hunting after we get done here. I suspect he will make sure that our fights will be strenuous ones. Will that be satisfactory?”

The Pegaslut nodded deeply. “Yes, mistress and I thank you for your consideration.”

“You should thank Iain. He proposed this without my encouragement in any way.”

“Yes, mistress.”

Kasumi went back to contemplating her pokedex until she realized that all three of her harem was all sitting close to each other with their eyes closed. She’d seen that behavior before and it meant that they were sharing something with their twee. What are they doing, she asked her own. Long ago she’d instructed her harem to give her twee unrestricted access to theirs and they’d done as ordered.

They are looking at pictures and video.

Kasumi frowned as she turned the pokedex over in her hands. Show me. Images appeared in her mind’s eye. Her harem was looking at pictures and video that apparently Giselle had taken while observing April’s wound exam of a nude Iain. Kasumi flushed as she watched. April had been much more hands on than Dominique had been and Iain sported an erection through most of the images. Why are they doing this?

The vast majority of pokegirl breeds as well as individuals, her twee said, are at best bisexual. Yours have not been with or even seen a nude male in years. It does not mean they desire to be with him instead of you, but they do have desires that you cannot fulfill with them. Do you wish to forbid this?

Kasumi considered it for several seconds. No. This is harmless enough. She realized she was squeezing the pokedex hard enough to make the carbon fiber housing creak, although it was nowhere near its failure point, and forced her hands to relax. Then she deliberately queued up the video Dominique had loaded. It should be harmless enough as well. She leaned back and closed her eyes. Link with the pokedex and run video internally.

In her mind’s eye she suddenly saw the study chamber on the Theodora where she’d met with Iain when she’d come to find out why he hadn’t contacted them to schedule the meeting to discuss his stories. This time he was sitting on the massive table and Dominique was seated beside him. Dominique crawled into his lap and turned so they were nose to nose. “So, what do you have planned for now?”

The video ran until Dominique headed down the tunnel to the rest of the Theodora, turned and waved at Iain, receiving a kiss blown at her in response.

***

Ygerna stepped out onto the veranda and looked up at the predawn sky. In the daytime the dome was almost completely invisible, but at night it was easily visible as a mostly transparent yellow hemisphere. Light flared brightly on the other side of the building, making the shadows flicker and jump where she stood. Branna, a Magic Knight and her guard today twined her hands into a stirrup. “Do you wish a boost, my queen?”

“Thank you,” Ygerna said as she used the stirrup to climb easily into the roof. Then she turned and helped to pull her guard up too.

Ninhursag glanced at her from where she stood watch. “Morning. If you’re looking for Iain, he’s over there.” She nodded at a pair of figures visible in the semi-dark on the opposite side of the roof.

“I didn’t realize he was up.”

“He says he can’t sleep.” Ninhursag glanced upwards. “I know I can’t under that terrible thing and neither Heather nor Dianthus can either.”

Now that she was on the roof, Ygerna could see the bright light was more Zombabes roasting in the container. “When will they be finished clearing the area?”

“Sometime this morning was the last estimate. Iain will know if there’s been a change in the schedule.”

Ygerna nodded and head for Iain. He was standing with Heather and both of them had bows. As she got closer, Heather pointed. “Four, six.”

Iain frowned and leaned slightly forward. “You have got to be kidding. All I can see is a shoulder.”

“Listen to your bow,” Heather said confidently.

“Yeah, right,” he muttered as he raised his living bow. He drew and the arrow began glowing softly. When he released it drew a light blue line across the darkness to end right next to a window in a ten story apartment building several blocks away.

“You missed,” Heather said accusingly.

“I did not. Look again.”

She frowned, lowering her bow as she peered into the darkness. Then she chuckled. “I didn’t think you’d shoot through the wall. I wanted you to turn the arrow into your target as soon as it entered the window. It’s your call.”

“Nine, three,” he said without hesitating. Then he turned. “Good morning, Ygerna.”

“Good morning. What are you doing?”

“We’re training.” He gestured towards the building as Heather raised her bow. “We can zoom in with our twee modifications and see the Zombabes in the apartments and Heather challenged me to a contest to see who could kill the most from here.”

Heather released. Her glowing line was green and it ended in a flash of green at the window. “Shit,” Heather said loudly.

“I thought I was trying to cut back. You’re not helping.”

The Elf glared at him. “I didn’t realize the window was closed.” She pulled another arrow from her quiver. “I’ll have to shoot for the half point now.”

Iain turned back to Ygerna. “How was your night?”

“Apparently it was better than yours. Ninhursag said you couldn’t sleep.”

Iain nodded. “The Elf breeds couldn’t sleep because they’re cut off from nature by the dome. It’s a good thing we won’t be here for long or they’d probably have to go up. I couldn’t sleep because of the noise.”

Ygerna looked around. It was completely silent except for the soft noise of Heather’s bowstring as she released again. “What noise?”

Iain tapped his temple. “It’s in here. The Zombabes make a noise I can hear, like a subsonic hum or vibration. It’s annoying and I can’t make it go away.”

Heather tapped him on the shoulder. “Eight, one.”

Iain grinned. “My turn.” He lifted his bow and drew an arrow from its holder in the same motion.

“Is that some code?”

Heather glanced back at Ygerna. “The first number is the floor and the second is the window, starting from the right.”

“How far away is that building,” Tara asked.

“It’s nearly seven hundred and fifty meters away,” Heather replied. “It’s on the upper limit of Iain’s ability to aim accurately, which is why I chose it for his training this morning.”

Iain released. “If there was any wind inside the dome I’d be completely screwed at this range. His arrow zipped through a window. “Yes!”

“You missed,” Heather observed.

“I got the kid. That was the target, right?”

“No, I wanted you to hit the fat one.”

“You neglected to mention that so the kid counts,” he said. His bow vanished. “I’m done anyways.”

Heather grinned. “And the count is,” she said eagerly.

“You know.”

“Say it, Iain. I want to hear the words from your lips.”

He rolled his eyes at Ygerna. “You won by twenty six point two five points.”

“And?”

He sighed. “And I have to do your laundry for a week. But you have to collect it and it’s just your laundry, not all of the laundry you can find from everyone this time.”

She giggled. “I will abide by your rule.”

Iain just shot the Elf a look before walking towards Ygerna. “Have you had breakfast yet?”

“No, I wanted to watch the sun come up first.” She smiled as she slipped her arm into his and tugged him away from Heather towards the easternmost edge of the roof. “How is it that you had to cheat to win our last archery competition if you can shoot like that?”

“As I mentioned then, a living bow makes an impossible shot into a merely difficult one,” he replied. “And, if I remember correctly, I said the Elves can still shoot circles around me and that most definitely has not changed. But I try harder when I have an opponent so I still compete against them.”

Ygerna leaned her shoulder against his as they faced the still hinted sunrise. “I never thought I would agree with your undead in anything but she was right. The Zombabes are an abomination to all life. I wish I had a spell to destroy them.”

“Fire works well and destroys the poison they spray when they are destroyed.”

“I wanted to tell you I appreciate you seeing fit to bring me along with you,” she said quietly. “You would have been fully within your rights to exclude me from this trip.”

“Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself,” he replied, “but while I don’t know where the steps will take us during the dance, unless something changes radically I do know where this dance will end and at that point you will be one of us. I have gotten used to your company and if we were thrown far from home I’d have missed you.” He smirked at her. “Besides, I took the library with me and you’d have declared me forsworn and unleashed the wild magic on me. There’s no guarantee it couldn’t reach me wherever I was.”

She gave him an irritated glare. “Will you ever not destroy a romantic moment by making a joke during it,” she asked.

“I guess it’s an automatic reaction so I can’t be hurt by you because I don’t understand why in the universe you’d be interested in me. I’m human and I’m not really that special.”

“You are probably the only person who feels that way about you,” she replied. “Since leaving your birth world you have accomplished many things. Your name is on the lips of the leadership of the Blue League, Capital and, secretly, Sanctuary. You reshaped the political map of Sanctuary, hopefully permanently. You saved the Blue League from Orange. Here you are spoken of in the halls of power in many places, including Indigo, Sunshine, Johto, Blue, Great Britain, Israel and still others. Some speak of you with respect and possibly adulation while others spit your name with hated for they rightfully fear that with you set against them their days are numbered. You’re on a first name basis with Legendary pokegirls and they come when you call.”

“Magically you are becoming a power to be reckoned with as well. You are the student of Kerrik Wolf. I watch you study and I, a Sidhe mage older than Christianity, see you do things that we did not dream of during our golden age when Danu and Hern walked among us. And the things you talk about someday being able to do beggars the imagination.” She shot him a look. “And that is only the things that I know about. I am certain there are things you still have not shared with me and will not until we are joined.”

She pulled her arm from his and turned to face him squarely. “And on a more personal level, you looked upon a destitute Sidhe woman, queen in name only and living on the sufferance of others who had no great affection for her and out of the goodness of your heart you gave her first the opportunity to have a home of her own that none could rip from her and then you allowed her into your life, first at the periphery and later more and more centrally until she stands beside you on a world that neither was born on watching the sun rise with him when there are many other more important things he could be doing right now.” She kissed him lightly on the lips. “And she is grateful for it.” She moved back to his side and reclaimed his arm. “How could I not be interested in that man?”

Iain just shook his head. “I’d be interested in marrying that man. He sounds awesome.”

“He does.” It came from behind them.

Ygerna looked behind them to see Kasumi and Giselle. She smiled invitingly. “He has a free arm.”

Kasumi walked up on Iain’s other side and stopped, watching the horizon. “Why am I here?”

Iain glanced at her with a puzzled look and then gave a tiny shrug. “You are angry with your family and needed to go someplace where you could work through it without being bothered by them. We are close to being friends and I was going someplace that was perfect for that so I invited you to come along.”

“When Shikarou discovers that you deceived him about our destination he will be upset with you.”

“I didn’t deceive him. Poppet heard what she wanted to and didn’t bother to ask the right questions. And yes, he’s still going to be angry about it. Meh.”

Kasumi gave him a puzzled look. “What is meh?”

“It is slang from my home world and it means I don’t care.” He grimaced. “I’d like to be Shikarou’s friend, but I can’t. He is not friends with humans. I don’t think it’s anything deliberate, but he doesn’t feel that I was at first powerful enough to notice and later he was pissed because I defied him pretty much from the beginning and then I stole from him, or least that has to be how he perceives it from his behavior.”

“What did you steal from him?”

“You mean besides Ygerna’s books, which he felt belonged to his family? If I hadn’t snatched Ygerna from Haven where she was safely neutralized, the whole issue of the books would never have come up in the first place. Not to mention I am certain that somewhere in the back of his mind Shikarou saw Ygerna as his too.”

Kasumi started. “What?”

Ygerna spun him around to face her. “Explain,” she hissed.

“You’d already been rejected by Faelan because of Svetlana and her conditions,” Iain said quietly. “And you were uninterested in the lesser men in Haven. While he may not have consciously been aware of this, in his mind that pretty much meant you’d have to breed with him if you wanted children. He was the only other male around since Kerrik was not interested for his own reasons. And he’d already proven it was ok for him to have kids with people outside his immediate family with Gwen and Mary, among others, so nobody should protest when you turned up pregnant with his bastard children.”

“And when you offered me a place in Texas, he would have seen it as you stealing his future children.”

“No,” Iain said, “my relationship with Shikarou nosedived not when I offered you the place in Texas, but when you actually moved there. And then the whole episode with you and your books and the fact that you held my hand during it just cemented we were already a couple at that point in his mind.”

“We were friends,” Ygerna protested. “We weren’t a couple then and we’re not really one now. Besides, Pandora told me I broke three of your fingers that day.”

“They healed. And in Shikarou's mind you would only move to live in Texas for something a lot more significant than a friend offered you a place to live.”

Kasumi walked around to stand beside Ygerna. “Shikarou expected to have children with her?”

“Like I said, it may not have been a conscious thing, but while I’m occasionally accused of wanting to sleep with every woman around, he pretty much already has. He even bedded the women of Faelan’s harem when Faelan was crippled by the Mantises.”

Kasumi blinked. “My husband had sex with Svetlana?”

“You’ve got that hitting look again,” Iain said as he took a step backwards.

“I have no urge to hit you,” Kasumi said.

“Just keep telling yourself that,” he said as he returned to his earlier position.

Ygerna turned to Kasumi. “You didn’t know?”

“Obviously I did not. You knew?”

“Only because of something I overheard years ago when Faelan and Shikarou were talking. It led me to ask Svetlana about it and she explained the circumstances involved. Faelan had lost his limbs and genitalia and Shikarou tamed his harem while he recovered from the injuries. I was curious because at the time I still thought I was going to be married to Faelan.”

“I see.” Kasumi turned to Iain. “My family already bargained for your stories, correct?”

Iain nodded. “You want a copy of them now?”

“I’d like you to not be able to keep predicting what I want,” Kasumi snapped loudly.

Iain stared at her in bewilderment. “What did I do?”

Kasumi took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “Yes, I would like a copy of your stories to read.” Her pokedex chimed and she frowned and pulled it out. “I have a message?”

“That would be Theodora sending you the stories,” Iain said. “There are a bunch of stories, some of which were not written by me. All of mine will have been authored by Kerrik Wolf, the alias I used when I wrote them.” He smiled. “I really like mine, of course, and there are several other authors I’d recommend. Oh, and I was nice enough to reformat Micah’s stories to make them easier to read. He's a good writer and a decent friend, but he was writing on his phone, for blood's sake.”

Kasumi looked at her pokedex and back up at Iain. “Which stories are about my husband?”

Iain’s smile vanished and his demeanor became very serious. “What are you looking for?”

“Everything I can find out about my husband and family.”

“You want to read To Boldly Go, which is about Faelan. Where None Has Gone Before is the main story about Shikarou. You’re in it too and it’s where I introduced Ygerna. New Beginnings, Bhavakacra and Bishop have something of your family in it and they will help you with Kerrik. Poppet is in almost every story I’ve ever written, although in cameos for some of them.”

“I don’t have those stories,” Ygerna said quietly.

Iain sighed. “Do you really want them? You were kind of a bitch in them.”

Ygerna smiled. “I am a bitch now, Iain, and yes.”

“They’ve been sent to your pokedex,” Iain said.

Ygerna grinned. “Thank you. We’ll negotiate what I owe for them later.”

Iain looked surprised. “Uh, ok.”

“Is there a story in there about you,” Kasumi asked curiously.

“A writer puts themselves in every story they write,” Iain said. “However, if you really want an insight into how I think,” he stopped.

“Please tell me,” Kasumi said.

Iain closed his eyes for a moment. “The stories you want to read are Silver River Blues and Azrael because I really identify with Nicodemus Azrael Templeton. Just remember that there are still some pretty significant differences between us. Nicodemus’ bubble is even smaller than mine and I am not quite a complete sociopath.”

Kasumi frowned. “Bubble?”

“A bubble is how I define the barrier which separates the things that are important to me with the things that are not. The things inside my bubble I care about. Outside my bubble I don’t. I could ignore the existence of Colonel Dupree because she wasn’t inside my bubble, but since her life was important to Eve, who is inside my bubble, we rescued her.”

“I’m inside your bubble, right,” Ygerna asked.

“You are.”

Kasumi’s eyebrow rose. “Am I?” Iain nodded and she smiled. “Thank you.” She looked at the pokedex she still held. “If you don’t mind, I am going to go do some reading until breakfast.” Without waiting for an answer she turned and almost trotted for the landing.

Ygerna smiled winsomely at Iain and he just shook his head once. “I know. The stories are important. Go.” She waved to Branna and followed Kasumi.

Heather didn’t stop watching around as she spoke. “Did you do something to piss Kasumi off?”

“Not that I’m aware of, but she did yell at me and it was definitely aimed at me.”

“She doesn’t want you to predict what she wants. What does that mean?”

“Heather, I don’t have a fucking clue.”

“Pandora wants us to help you stop cursing.”

Iain grimaced and rubbed his hands together. “And how does she want you to help me?”

“She said something about giving up something nice every time you cursed.”

“Yeah, she brought that up when we met. I have a better idea.”

“What’s that?”

“For every hour I don’t curse, the girls around me take something off,” he said with a grin. “When they’re naked, it’s my turn.”

She gave him a suspicious look. “And what happens when we’re all nude?”

He grinned. “I get to pick a girl or two for a romp.”

“Pandora is never going to agree to that.”

“I know.”

Heather shook her head and laughed softly. “I like your idea better.”

***

Eve landed and let Dianthus go, summoning her magical sword and armor as she stepped away from the Elfqueen. Dianthus unlimbered her bow and nocked an arrow as Vanessa landed with Iain. Half of his dead harem stood a few meters away in a circle around him while the rest roamed the area looking for Zombabes.

Eirian bobbed her head. “My lord, I am sorry we took longer than expected, but there was an incursion of the walking dead in the night through a door we thought secure. By sheer weight of numbers they forced the lock on it. It has been welded to the doorframe and the extra walking dead have been collected and destroyed.”

“It’s all right,” Iain said. “You reacted quickly and well.”

“We have located many older remains, my lord, but we do not know how to identify which might be Wallace.”

“Siobhan showed us his stuff and we have his genetic profile now,” Iain said. “And we brought portable DNA scanners for trying to identifying him. We’ll start with the bodies closest to the school.”

“This way, my lord.”

Two days later Iain stood outside the school and tried not to scream in frustration. They’d checked every pile of remains within the perimeter and none of them had been Wallace. The hum from the Zombabes had kept him from resting at all and while his magic kept him from being tired his temper had gone from normal to short and finally to none. It had been even worse for Heather, Ninhursag and Dianthus. They’d slowly become more and more hypersensitive to their surroundings and all three had finally been put into their pokeballs and then into storage. Pandora now rotated guard duty with Canaan, Vanessa, Eve and Lucifer, with April as his nominal second in command.

Vanessa was his guard this morning. “What do we do next?”

Iain managed not to whip around and scream at her. “If I fucking knew that,” he half snarled, “we’d fucking be doing it. Unless Wallace could fucking fly there is no way he could have gotten out of this fucking perimeter.”

Eirian came running up and halted in front of him. “My lord, we have completed the sweep. There are no other remains that we can locate.”

“Thank you,” Iain gritted. “Shit.”

Skye raced up and stopped. “My lord, might I offer a suggestion?”

“If it’s we make yet another sweep I may see if I can strangle a dead person back to death.”

Skye snickered and looked surprised at the noise. “I would let you try, my lord.”

“What is your suggestion, Skye?”

The blue Dragoness cocked her head to regard him. “You are aware that I am one of the most powerful spell wielders in your dead harem, my lord.”

“That is a matter of debate,” Eirian snarled.

“Everything is a matter of debate with pokegirls,” Iain interrupted. “Spit it out, Skye.”

“My lord, you have a great affinity with death that you have so far sought to avoid as much as you safely can.” Her wings vanished as she dismissed them. “My lord, you may be able to use your affinity to find hidden corpses within the area we have cleared, if you are willing to embrace more of your power.”

Iain frowned. “And how would I do that?”

“I am unsure, my lord, which is why I have waited until we have no other options. I do not understand much about the magic that you use. Perhaps there would be something in the portions of your books that you have so far shunned. It would make sense that a power that can command the dead would have a way to find them for you to command.”

Iain frowned as his brain sluggishly began to work. “Thank you, Skye,” he said absently. “April, have Dominique relieved from watch on the roof so she can join me. We have an agreement that she gets to observe when I try something new.”

April nodded. “Vanessa, I have him for the moment. Go switch with Dominique.”

“May I also watch,” Skye asked as Vanessa shot for the roof.

Pandora flared into a landing and moved near Iain as her wings vanished. “April, Dominique will be too distracted to be his guard so I'm taking over.”

“Yes, Skye,” Iain replied.

Dominique landed and grounded her staff with a thump. “What are we doing?”

“I'm going to try to use my magic to try and locate any bodies inside the perimeter that we haven't been able to locate by searching without keying on the bodies we've already found.”

Dominique grinned. “Cool. I want details.”

Iain rolled his neck in a slow circle and closed his eyes. “First I have to do some quick review.” He was silent for a moment. “How are Kasumi and Ygerna?”

April chuckled. “They're still reading. I think you may have lost them for a few more days. I hope you didn't have any major plans for them during that time.”

“No. As long as Kasumi isn't still being weirdly pissed about something I don't understand,” Iain said, “I'm good.”

“Kasumi's mad,” Dominique asked curiously. “What about?”

“I said I don't know,” Iain set crossly. “If I did fucking know I wouldn't have said I didn't fucking know.”

“Easy, Iain,” Dominique said carefully. “Let's find this body and get the hell out of here.”

Iain took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he released his magic. He opened his eyes. “There two ways I can do this. The book showed me one and the other is a little more creative but in the long run more efficient. And since it's new for me, it'll help me more if I can do it.” He pulled out his pokedex and activated the holographic display. Then he pulled up a map of the area they were in and zoomed until the perimeter took up most of the floating image. “OK, here goes.” He stuck a finger into the display and a haze of red dot spread across the map. “According to my magic, these are the dead on the map.” The dots began to vanish, one by one.

“What are you doing,” Dominique asked.

“I'm removing the bodies I've visited and therefore know the locations of.” More red dots vanished until only a few remained. “I have four bodies that I apparently didn't visit.” He looked at Eirian. “Take a look at the map and see what you can find at these locations.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Skye leaned forward and peered at the map. “My lord, will this also detect the walking dead?”

“Yes, it will, which is why I zoomed in as much as I did, or the area outside of it would probably be bright red.”

“Will it detect us, my lord?”

“It will if I want it to. It will also track you or the walking dead in real time.”

“OK, I thought this was kind a silly ability,” Dominique said, “but if you can track Zombabes in real time when you can't see them, it has a lot of useful potential.” She looked thoughtful. “Can variants of this spell be used to track other things, like that ceremonial spell we used to find the airship that time?”

“I don't see why not, but I'd have to think a little bit about how to implement it for living things.”

Eirian came running back. “My lord, we have located three of the four corpses. The fourth is not where the map indicated.”

“It probably is where the map says it is,” Iain was looking at the map, “but it might be well hidden. I'll take a look at it and see if I can localize it at all.”

April touched him on the arm. “If Eirian will show me the other locations I can scan the remains and see if any of them is Wallace.”

He nodded. “Eirian, please work with April.”

Eirian nodded. “My lord.” She looked at April. “Come,” she paused, “significant life.”

“Significant life,” April glanced at Iain. “What does that mean?”

“It means,” Eirian said, “that I recognize you are life that is significant to my lord and therefore are to be protected unless he is in danger.” She nodded to Iain. “And to be worked with if necessary without protest.”

“Does that mean you'll do what I want,” April asked.

Eirian bared her teeth in silent snarl. “Working for is not the same as working with. I have one lord and you are not him.”

April shrugged. “It's a promotion. Now I'm sometimes important.” She checked her rifle and other equipment. “Lead the way, Eirian.”

She yelped when the Dragoness picked her up by the waist. “You are slow.” She turned and raced off with April.

“I can lead you to the area of the problem corpse,” Skye said.

“Do it.”

The blue Dragoness jogged off with Iain, Dominique and Pandora in pursuit. Skye led them to the wall of the building next to Wallace's school and stopped. “The map shows the body should be here, my lord, but there is clearly no body and no rubbish can or anything else that a body could be in.”

Iain pointed at the wall up at an opening near the roof line. “Look at the top. At the vent that's missing the screen.”

“My lord, it is nearly three and a half meters in the air. No human could reach that.”

Iain shrugged and pointed at the wall. “Destroy this section. Smash the brick so we remove just the outermost layer.”

“Stand back, my lord.” Skye rapped the wall as they moved away from her and then spun, smashing her tail with measured force against the brick, which cracked with a dull noise. Two more whacks with her tail and then she began pulling the pieces of brick out and tossing them to the side. “My lord, you are correct. There is a body here.”

“How do you think he got in there,” Dominique asked.

“I suspect that when he was attacked he climbed on top of a Zombabe which was tall enough to let him grab the vent and pull himself inside. After that I really hope he bled out instead of dying of dehydration listening to the Zombabes pawing at the wall for the whole time.” Iain looked at Dominique, ignoring Pandora's shudder of revulsion. “You've got a DNA scanner, right?” She nodded and shoved her staff into her pants pocket. “Go ahead and check but it's Wallace.”

“How do you know,” she asked as she pulled the DNA scanner from a pouch on her right leg.

“The hair is the right color and under his jacket he's wearing a T-shirt identical to some we found in the school's merchandise shop.”

Skye finished ripping the wall away and pulled the remains through the hole she'd made before backing up and becoming still. “My lord, is there a way that your perception can be taught?”

“We're trying to determine that,” Dominique said. “My research is still inconclusive.”

“I have some free time in my research,” Skye said. “I will investigate as well. I will share my findings if you will.”

Dominique blinked. “I'm alive.”

“Love of magic transcends life or death.”

Dominique smiled. “That is certainly true. I will share if you will.”

Skye nodded. “I will report my findings every two weeks, positive or negative. At that time you will report yours. Perhaps later we will collaborate on the research.”

“Perhaps.” Dominique knelt and pulled on some gloves before removing a phalanx and slipping it into the scanner. She watched the analyzer until the scan completed and looked up. “You called it. It's Wallace.” She cocked her head. “April is getting Siobhan. Can we be out of here now?”

Iain eyed the sky. “We'll leave in the morning. That'll give Siobhan time to pack some mementos and let us cremate Wallace for her.”

“Does he go in the family plot?”

Iain shook his head. “No. Siobhan has been adamant that she isn't one of us and won't be until after she finds out what happened to Wallace. That means she's not clan yet and doesn't get that allowance.”

“That's harsh,” Pandora said.

“I disagree,” Dominique replied. “Us versus them is the rule, remember? She chose to stay them until later. She doesn't get the us things if she is them. Otherwise, why would anyone want to become one of us?”

“She got Iain.” Pandora said.

“She gets bedded and that's pretty much it,” Iain said. “We don't spend quality time together. If nobody brings up the family plot until later it won't be a problem.”

I have warned everyone, Theodora said in his mind.

Thank you. Iain stretched slowly, one muscle group at a time. “I will certainly be glad to be out of here, but she gets a chance to get some memories if she wants them.”

“What if she wants to stay,” Pandora asked in a low voice.

Iain glanced at her. “Has she said anything about that?” The Archangel shook her head. “Then I'm not going to offer it to her, but if she wants to stay then there's not much I can do to stop her.”

“And if she does then what?”

“Pandora, I'm not going to worry about what has not happened yet, but you know I always try to have contingency plans.”

“April's here so change the subject,” Dominique said as she looked up. April landed with Siobhan and let her go.

Iain went to Siobhan. “I have to tell you that we found him.”

She straightened and nodded, her face quivering. “You're sure, master, or you wouldn't have sent for me. May I see him?”

“Come with me.” Iain led her to where Dominique stood and motioned towards the remains. “Here he is.”

Siobhan dropped to her knees next to the remains and touched the jacket before wailing loudly and bursting into tears. Iain watched her for a moment, his face expressionless, before he settled cross-legged to the ground nearby.

Eventually her tears slowed and finally she sat up and wiped her eyes before looking around. She twisted on her knees and turned to face him. “Master, I know I have no right to ask this, but Gordon has a sister. Would you give his remains to her so that he can be buried with his family?”

Iain seemed to consider it for a long moment before nodding. “I don't see a reason not to do as you request. I also thought you might want to go through the school and get some keepsakes you can use to remember Wallace with.”

Siobhan looked astonished. “You would let me do that, master?”

“I would. It won't interfere with our relationship and I understand that when someone you care about dies, you don't forget about them. I have mementos from my lost as well.”

“Thank you, master, I would like that.”

“Then gather what you will as long as you can carry it in your pack. We'll plan to leave in the morning.”

“I will prepare the remains for travel, my lord,” Skye said.

“Thank you, Skye.” Iain rose to his feet. “April, I'd appreciate it if someone helped Siobhan.”

“I'll take care of it, Iain. I'll let our guests know we're leaving in the morning, too.”

Theodora spoke in his mind. I have located Gordon Wallace's sister, Makayla Helton. She lives in London and is a lawyer. I have sent her address to your phone.

Thank you. Can you also start reviewing the feral status reports? I want to take Kasumi and possibly Ygerna feral hunting and I'd like them to have a challenge.

I will see what I can find. Am I limited to the Blue League?

No. Iain turned to Pandora. “Let's walk the perimeter.”

“I'll go with you,” Dominique pulled her staff out from between her breasts, smiling softly when his eyes followed her movements. She winked.

A few minutes later Dominique tapped him on the shin with her staff. “We found Wallace and Siobhan hasn't said anything about leaving. What are we doing next?”

“Tomorrow we finally leave this hellhole,” Iain glanced up. “I will be so glad when I don't have to look at that fucking eyesore any more. Tomorrow night I delta bond Lucifer to me.”

“I was wondering when that was going to happen. Is she ready?”

“More than.” Iain glanced behind him “Pandora wants me to delta bond Heather and Barb so they can always find me. What do you think?”

Dominique looked thoughtful as they walked. “I think it's good for practical reasons and they won't be the first women you've bonded that you didn't love when it happened. On the other hand it would automatically promote them to inner harem and I'm not sure how the others will react to it. Let me talk to some people and get back to you, unless you wanted to do it soon too.”

“No, Lucifer gets that night just for her. There's no real rush.”

“I'm not sure I agree,” Pandora said behind them. “However, I can't argue too much either. But I don't want no real rush to become a few months. Heather is working hard to get strong enough to carry others and Dianthus is an outstanding combatant with or without her bow. Iain, can an Elfqueen ask a tree for a weapon for someone else?”

“I think so, why?”

“I want to ask Ninhursag if she can get Dianthus a sword like yours. Can she learn to store things on her skin like you can?'

Iain looked at Dominique. “Have you worked on that?”

She shook her head, her crimson ponytail waving behind her. “I don't need it for my equipment.”

“Want to see if we can figure out how to turn it into a spell you can sell to others?”

Dominique grinned at him. “That sounds like it could be fun.” She gave him a coy look. “My lab or yours?”

“I'm assisting you, so your lab.”

“You say the nicest things to a girl.” Her eyes turned curious. “The day will come when we will work together on something where I will be your assistant. How do you think that will feel?”

“I think I'll put that day off for as long as I can,” Iain said. “You know so much more than I do and since I'm not a pokegirl it doesn't really matter who leads when we research together. Even if it was a subject where somehow I knew more than you, I'd rather you lead because you have centuries of practical experience that I don't and that can shorten our research time significantly.”

Dominique hugged him hard. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

The Archmage grinned at Iain and lunged for Pandora, grabbing her in a hug. “I love you, Pandora.”

“Get off of me, fiend,” Pandora twisted free. “I'm his guard right now.”

Dominique moved back to Iain and gave him a quick grin. It faded as she glanced upwards. “I hate this fucking place,” she growled. “We can't be out of here too soon.” She shook her head. “And that goes for this damned planet too. I like being free and this master shit blows.”

“Eirian needs to finish up her project and we can leave,” Iain reassured her.

“Good.” She glanced back at Pandora. “Celestials.”

“You're a Celestial,” Pandora reminded her.

“Fuck.”

“You became one to protect me,” Iain reminded her. “And Heavenly Fire is an awesome technique to whip out against some evil.”

Dominique scowled. “Let's go incinerate some Zombabes.”

Iain glanced back at Pandora. “All right. Let's go destroy some Zombabes.” They headed for the barrier and stopped when they got to it. “I didn't bring a rocket launcher,” he said, “but you can fly up and start blasting.”

Dominique shot upwards, her staff starting to glow. As the first fireball shot from the end, Pandora tapped Iain on the shoulder. “Is she ok? Her mood swings are a lot worse than usual.”

“We're all stressed under the dome,” Iain said. “I don't know if something has changed or if Shikarou's group was somehow able to combat it, maybe with all of the looting they did or he was able to protect them because he was a death kami, but we're all showing signs of severe stress just from being here. Only the undead harem isn't bothered much by it.” He looked up for a second. “She apparently gets premenstrual.”

“What about me?”

Iain looked back at her. “You haven't been happy for two days, Pandora, and I can feel your tension across our bond. You're starting to show the same hyperawareness that Ninhursag was. In different amounts, we all are.” He looked up again. “Now that the Elves are up, Canaan has it the worst. She's always wanted to find a place where there was quiet, but this is proving to be too quiet. Fortunately she's got us to latch onto.” He watched Dominique throw destruction out into the masses of Zombabes. “I'd go back to the school, but Dominique shouldn't be alone out here any more than I should.”

Pandora looked up. “Dominique!”

Another fireball shot away from the Archmage, who didn't bother to look down. “What?”

“You're done! We leave tomorrow and we have things that we need to do now.”

Dominique landed and turned to Iain as her staff thumped into the concrete of the road they stood on. “Iain,” she said softly.

Iain wrapped her up in his arms. “I promise.”

She crushed him against her for a long moment before pushing away with a tiny smile. “Pandora can't protect you if you're plastered against my chest.”

“I can't protect him from you,” Pandora said good naturedly. “Fortunately he seldom needs rescued from one of his wives. And if the worst happened I'd protect you and him together. And when you finally let him go to defend yourself I could use you as a distraction to save him. A light cut on your stomach wouldn't hinder you while it might draw the Zombabes.”

“And now I'm back to not loving you,” Dominique stated.

“We were returning to the school, ladies,” Iain said as he tugged Dominique into motion. “So we pack tonight and get out of here tomorrow.”

***

Iain tapped on the door and spoke in a light falsetto. “Mrs. Wolf, your taxi will be here in a few minutes.”

Nishiko cracked opened the door and gave Iain a flat look. “The mistress will be ready soon.”

From behind her came Kasumi's voice. “Open the door, Nishiko.” The Archmage glanced behind her and swung the door wide.

Iain blinked. The first thing he noticed was that Kasumi was wearing one of his shirts and he wondered who had reluctantly parted with it for her. He was reaching the point where if he couldn't find more of his clothes he was going to have to start wearing some of his women's stuff or have Theodora make him about a hundred more of everything he owned. The second thing he noticed was that Kasumi was wearing just his shirt and that it hung down to mid-thigh. The third thing he noticed was the she apparently had kept working out or her kami powers kept her in shape because she had very nice legs. Finally he noticed the exhaustion in her eyes. “Morning. I'd offer you coffee or tea but you look like you need a stamina potion.”

Kasumi shook her head. “I don't like the way they taste.” She eyed him curiously. “I thought you couldn't sleep either.”

“I can't. What you see as me looking rested is actually me cheating outrageously. And I can't stand the taste of the standard stamina potions either, so Theodora did some chemistry magic and we have them in a variety of decent flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, cherry and grape.” He grimaced slightly. “And bacon.”

Kasumi frowned. “Bacon flavored stamina drinks? Who likes those?”

“Canaan and predatory pokegirls. I tried it and it does taste like bacon, but in my mind bacon shouldn't be a liquid.”

“What about the primary effects of the potion?”

“In a situation like this I ignore it and it stops eventually. Would you like one?”

Kasumi hid a yawn behind her hand. “I'm not sure. Would you leave me one a cherry one and I'll decide if I want it while I get dressed?”

“No problem. I'll go get it.” He was back a few minutes later and knocked again. Ayame cracked open the door and he held out two cans. “This is for Kasumi. One's the stamina potion and the other is a can of tea.”

“Thank you, sir.” she said as she took it from him.

“We intend to leave in about an hour,” Iain told her.

“Thank you, sir.” The door shut firmly and Iain chuckled as he left.

An hour later Iain was outside with his women when Kasumi and her harem emerged from the school. He was in a quiet discussion with April, Canaan and Lucifer and looked up when she came outside. “Excellent. Now we're just waiting on Ygerna.” He looked at Canaan. “Let her know the bus is leaving in five minutes, politely.”

“I'd enjoy this more if you hadn't added that last word,” Canaan grumped as she headed for the door. “Never mind,” she announced as Ygerna appeared with Ida and Branna following closely behind.

Ygerna smirked. “Am I late?”

“You're bell tapping but barely, no, you’re not,” Canaan said.

“Good. I wish to be far from this place.” She turned to Iain. “Ida will carry me and Branna will follow your orders.”

Iain turned to the Magic Knight. “You will follow April's instructions without question.”

Branna didn't quite salute. “I understand, sir.”

“Nishiko will carry me,” Kasumi turned to Giselle, “and you and Ayame will do what April orders you to without question until I say otherwise.”

“Yes, mistress,” Giselle said obediently. Her eyes, however said she was not pleased.

April squared her shoulders and gave Iain a look. I don't expect trouble but I have to do this. He nodded. “Ayame.” The Enchantress gave her a curious look. “That means you will obey me instantly, without going to Giselle for confirmation or contradiction, correct?” Ayame visibly hesitated and April's eyes narrowed. “Giselle, pokeball her.”

The beam speared the Enchantress as she tried to protest and she disappeared into it. Giselle stared at the pokeball for a second before turning to April. “What do you want me to do with her?”

April didn't hesitate. “I can't trust her to act immediately so I don't want her. She stays in her ball until we're out of the dome and Kasumi takes back command of you and then she's no longer my problem and it won't matter.” She turned to Dominique as Giselle and Nishiko both flushed angrily. “Dominique, you and Eve are on point. Vanessa has Iain and Lucy is close in defense with me, Giselle and Branna. Canaan and Pandora are roaming but stay close. If anyone has to land for any reason I want to know about it before you touch ground. This is the last day of the contest, ladies, and everyone except Ayame can still lose.” She turned to Iain. “I request permission to disqualify Ayame for behavior.”

Iain had expected this maneuver. “Denied.”

April nodded. “Team, move!”

Vanessa took Iain around the waist and lifted off to hover overhead. “Are you going to unblock the perimeter?”

“No, we'll leave it for the next group to wonder about. I've already got my dead harem back on me.”

“Good.” She watched Dominique and Eve shoot ahead before following at a leisurely pace. “The others will catch up.”

Iain got on his phone. “This is Major Grey to Dome Command.”

It took nearly a minute before a man answered. “This is Dome Command, major. Is there an emergency?”

“No, we've finally wrapped up our mission here and we're on our way out. Is anyone in the entrance area?”

“No, major, it's clear. You are the only team inside.”

Iain chuckled. “Only until we can get out this nasty place and then it's all yours.”\

The man's voice sounded like he was trying not to laugh. “Major, we don't want it either. What are your plans after this?”

“I report in to the scientists and tell them I didn't find any runners and I don't think there are any. Then I return to my bosses and they give me my next mission. If I'm lucky it'll turn out to be someplace with a nice clothing optional beach so I can easily tell that nobody out there isn't alive.”

“I understand, major. I'll stand by in case you need anything, sir. Dome Command over and out.”

A few minutes later they were back on the ground in the perimeter of the entrance to the dome. Iain watched as the duty mage cast the spell that opened the entrance and forced himself to wait until it was completely open and then calmly walked out. The noise of the Zombabes persisted inside his head until the last of his people was outside and the opening closed behind them and then, suddenly it was gone.

Iain wanted to drop to the ground and just lay back with his eyes closed but turned to face the duty sergeant as she saluted, an Umbrea with the name Daisy Madison on her chest. A Megami and an Angel in BLSF uniform stood nearby and immediately began using their abilities to determine if anyone in his group was infected. “Sergeant Madison, every member of my team is out,” he said formally as he returned the salute. “And it's not a moment too soon.”

“Yes sir,” she said with a crooked smile. “Major Haynes would like to speak with you, sir, before you go anywhere else. He has been informed that you have exited and he will be here momentarily, sir.”

Iain sighed mentally. “I hope he's here soon, sergeant. The sooner I put some kilometers between me and that dome the better I will be.”

Sergeant Madison nodded. “A lot of people who come out of there feel the same way, sir.”

“Well, I'm going to be over there, sergeant, with my beta. Please inform Major Haynes that I will wait a reasonable amount of time for him, but if I'm still here in half an hour he is going to be very lucky indeed.”

Sergeant Madison's ears drooped as she nodded. “I'll let my master know, sir, but it's up to Lieutenant Madison as to whether or not he informs the major.”

“I understand, sergeant and I won't blame you for whatever happens. Now if you will excuse me,” he turned and headed for Eve. “Hey,” he said quietly as he handed her three pokeballs. “April.” She joined them. “I would like Eve and Canaan to take these back to our camp and release Ninhursag, Heather and Barb. It'll give them a chance to start recovering and they can shelter there if there's trouble.” He wasn't going to use the word shuttle anywhere near an Umbrea and her enhanced hearing.

Eve frowned. “I don't sense trouble coming.”

“You don't always,” April said. She gave Iain a suspicious look. “Do you sense anything?”

He shook his head. “If I did I'd tell you to get Ygerna and Kasumi out of here to clear the battlefield and come immediately back. And I certainly wouldn't send Canaan or Eve away with a fight coming. Besides, I am not a fortune telling Celestial. I'll meet with Haynes and then we'll be on our way.”

“Speak of the devil,” April muttered. “Here he comes.”

Iain turned around and headed for Major Haynes. “Good morning, major,” he said. “I hope you're having a pleasant day.”

“I am, Grey,” Haynes replied. “Colonel Taylor wants you back here at 0900 tomorrow morning.”

“May I inquire as to why?”

Haynes shrugged. “I don't have the foggiest, I'm afraid. I was just ordered to give you the colonel's orders.”

“I see. Thank you. Is there anything else?”

Haynes shook his head. “No.”

“Then please let the colonel know I have received his orders. Am I expected to stay around here today?”

“All he seems to care about is that you're here in the morning.”

“All right. See you.” Iain headed back for April. “Well, I guess we can all go and you heard the order to be back here at 0900 tomorrow. Vanessa has me and let's get this cavalcade on the road.”

A few minutes later they were flying south. After about five miles, they landed and people began vanishing as they moved by teleport to the camp on the shore of Loch Indaal on Islay.

April handed him back the pokeballs. “This is your job in case they need your special help.”

He tipped an imaginary hat at her. “Yes, ma'am.”

She put a hand on his wrist to stop him. “So what do you think Colonel Taylor is going to want tomorrow morning,” she asked him curiously.

“Probably my head on a pike sometime around 0930 since I'm not going back.”

She grinned. “No?”

“Not a chance in hell. I don't give a fuck what he wants.”

“That's more like what I wanted to hear. I'll pass the word that we're not going back so nobody bothers you about it.”

“Thanks” He headed away from the camp with Pandora in tow and stopped under some low trees before he activated Ninhursag's pokeball.

The Elfqueen appeared, her eyes closed and her whole body radiating the tension she'd had when he'd pokeballed her. She took a deep breath and he watched as her body relaxed in stages. “We're out,” she half whispered.

“We are and we're not going back.”

Her eyes popped open and he was suddenly in the air and smothered in her arms. “Iain!” He made a muffled noise from somewhere in the valley of her breasts and she relaxed enough that he could breathe again. “Thank you.” She abruptly pushed him away to stand and began stripping off her uniform. She was topless and working on her pants when she looked up and realized he wasn't moving. “Mister, you'd better get naked if you want to keep that crap in one piece.”

“We have guests,” he said quietly, “and you're not usually big into nudity in front of strangers.”

“If you don't get naked I'm going to cut those fucking clothes off of you. If they try to join in, then I'll get pissed at them, otherwise they can all go to hell right now.”

Iain began taking off his armor and uniform. “I hear and I obey, mistress.”

As soon as she was nude, Ninhursag helped him get naked and then pulled him down to the grass with her and pressed herself against him. She sighed in pleasure and buried her face in his neck, breathing in his scent for several minutes. Finally she slowly sat up, her eyes sparkling almost as brightly as her hair in the morning sun as she gave him a lazy smile. “Thank you.”

He smiled back. “You are, as always, very welcome.”

“How long?”

“Just a couple of days. Heather and Dianthus were hit as hard as or harder than you were.”

She sighed and buried her face back in his neck. “I'm sorry I failed you.”

He kissed her on top of the head. “You did nothing of the sort and even if you had, we'd work it out.”

She didn't pull away from him. “I am a creature of life, Iain, and there was nothing in there. It was agony.”

“I know.” She pulled back enough to look into his eyes. “I tried mimicking your power after you got put up so I could see what you saw in there. It was like being in space, all alone. The only life was us. Whatever Vale did, they killed everything down to the insects and fungus.”

Ninhursag nodded and slowly sat up, looking around. “You picked a nice place for this. It'll help the others too. Fuck.” When he raised an eyebrow, she smiled. “If we were alone, mister, I'd show you how grateful I am, but my days of fucking in front of strangers are over.”

“That's good. I'm not interested in it either.”

“Later?”

He nodded. “Oh, yes.”

She idly ran her fingers through the hair on his chest. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.”

“You have to do this for Heather and Dianthus.” She met his gaze. “Speaking of them, Pandora talked to me about my giving them to you. I'd do it, but they were never mine. They've always been yours.” Her smile reappeared at his uncomfortable look. “Yes, I know. We are not possessions and talking like we are bothers you, but in this case it's completely accurate and you know it. They own themselves, and you can no more not allow them to give their lives into your hands absolutely than you can take that for yourself against their wills.”

“I know. It's just so weird.”

“Let it be weird if it is, just don't refuse our desires.” She rolled away from him and gathered up her clothing before getting to her feet. “And speaking of desires, don't let them compromise you in front of our guests. I know that when Dianthus is with you she blots out her surroundings and she won't care who sees how she will want to seek comfort with you.”

“I won't.”

“And don't make any promises that will deny Lucifer tonight.”

He gave her a wry smile. “Yes, mother.”

She flashed him a coy smile in return. “That will come soon too, Iain. I want children with you.”

“Good.” He sat up and reached for his pants. “Anything else, my beautiful giant?”

“Don't neglect us when you marry Ygerna.”

“I won't.”

She rolled up her clothes into a tight bundle and tucked them under her arm as she nodded to the Archangel. “Pandora.”

“Welcome back, maharani.”

“Don't let Heather or Dianthus fuck him in front of Kasumi or Ygerna. Use force if you have to. It's bad enough that he let me get him undressed.”

Pandora looked surprised and then nodded. “I understand, but you did kind of threaten him into it.”

Ninhursag sighed. “I know. I'm glad he let me but I wish he hadn't.”

Pandora shrugged. “I don't see the problem with them seeing his body. It's not bad and Ygerna already intends to join us. As for Kasumi, she isn't interested and she'd see it anyways if and when we go swimming.”

Ninhursag shrugged. “His body is one thing. His lying with one of us is very different and too personal to share. Do not let it happen to the point of calling for help if you need it.”

“Understood and I won't.”

Iain Grey

Inner Harem

Ninhursag Grey - Elfqueen & maharani

Eve Grey - Megami Sama

April Grey - Duelist & beta

Dominique Grey - Blessed Archmage

Pandora - Fiendish Archangel

Canaan - G Splice (Hunter Amachamp & Alaka-Wham)

Zareen - Nightmare

Raquel - Fiendish Rapitaur

Sofia - Ria

Vanessa – Evangelion

Lucifer – Megami Sama

Outer Harem

Allison – Umbrea (Outer Harem Alpha)

Daphne - Whorizard

Lynn - Growlie

Chuck – Doggirl

Ryan – Unicorn

Winifred - Rack (German)

Rosemary - Mistoffeles (Uruguayan)

Silver - Pegaslut

Joyce – Milktit

Outer Clan

Melanie – Iron Chef

Siobhan - NurseJoy (Glasgow)

Queendom / Outer Harem

12 Elves

Heather - Elf

Dionne - Elfqueen

Adrianna - Elfqueen

Dianthus Barbatus - Elfqueen

Heltu - Wet Queen

6 Wet Elves

Dead Harem

Eirian - Silver Dragoness

Aurum - Gold Dragoness

Skye - Blue Dragoness

Emerald - Green Dragoness

Beryl - Red Dragoness

Julia - human

Ling - Cheetit

Matilda - White Tigress

Liadan - Twau

Sorrel - Armsmistress

Natalie - Blazicunt

Maria – Slutton

Rhea Silvia - Chimera

Mother s & Children

Vanessa

Myrna

Saoirse

April

Dorothy: Duelist

Meara: Duelist

Regan: Duelist

Canaan

Hannah: Huntress

Rebecca: Huntress

Joyce

Lisa: Milktit

Sherrie: Milktit

Harriet: Milktit

Lucifer

Olivia: Megami-sama

Seraphina: Megami-sama

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