When Steve gets his first strap from Billy, the blonde let’s him compare their dick sizes knowing that Steve’s is gonna be bigger because he bought the dildo not thicker, but a few inches longer than his own just to give his boyfriend the little added sense of euphoria.
And the look on the brunettes face when he presses his hip to Billy‘s, fake cock bouncing ever so slightly in its constraints as he looks over to evaluate is priceless.
”If I knew what a monster you were hidin’ in those jeans I woulda snatched you up sooner,” Billy remarked, using the hand not holding his own dick out to run the tip of his middle finger up the length of the silicone shaft.
Steve shuddered ever so slightly at the sight and rolled his eyes, “Starting to think you didn’t buy this for me.”
Billy grinned and shook his head, “Course I did,“ he spoke like it was the most obvious thing ever, “But if I benefit a little then, hey. No harm no foul, Pretty Boy.”
This Tuna and Leek Rice may take your tastbuds somewhere on the Adriatic Coast, but this fragrant lunch is also easy to cook and cheap, making good use of leftover rice, re-grown leeks and larder staples! Happy Thursday!
Ingredients (serves 4):
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
1 large Leek, thorouly rinsed
2 cups cooked white rice, cooled
half a dozen leaves fresh basil
1/2 large can tuna, kept in water
a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large, deep, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Peel and thinly slice onion. Add to the skillet, fry, 1 minute.
Cut Leek into thick slices and add to the skillet. Cook, 2 minutes, stirring often. Then, reduce heat to medium, and cover with a lid. Cook, 4 minutes more, until Leek is softened.
Remove the lid, and stir in the rice. Grate in the zest of half a lemon.
Finely chop basil leaves, and stir into the skillet. Thoroughly squeeze in the juice of the lemon halve.
Finally, roughly flake in canned tuna, and give a stir to mix. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste, if necessary.
Serve Tuna and Leek Rice hot.
Citrus Zest Bi
A subset of citrus bi where the person is both wlw & mlm and their alignment only uses adjective labels (i.e. feminine, masculine, neutral/androgynous etc)
Any citrus bi terms can be used with this. Flags pictured (from left to right) are lemon zest bi, lime zest bi, tangerine zest bi.
citrus bi originally coined by @mortian
buy aiem a coffee
other citrus bi terms x x x
(if I need to edit any links lemme kno!)
[ID: 3 pictures of flags. All of them have three stripes laid out in the 2:1:2 bi flag ratio. From top to bottom the flags colors are:
flag one, yellow-white, neon yellow, grey-yellow. flag two, dark green, neon green, green-white. flag three, orange-white, light orange, dark orange.
Ok first, Julie Andrews, yes of course she is the Dowager Queen Mother Anastasia. Grace Kelly? Yalin's sister and Queen Alexandria, Tissia from the Witcher? Hell YEAH she's the Queen's Mage- Altissia and she's A BAMF (not that Yennifer wasn't a BAMF, she is but Tissia was a better fit). And they are all PISSED. How, oh how, will they vent their wrath? Let's seeeeee.
@punkhorse96 so you know how right before a tornado hits there is that eery calm and quiet as you can see in the distance how the sky is getting REALLY DARK and you see the clouds begin to roll sideways and you can just TELL shit is about to go sideways? Yup, we are THERE Darlin.
Also, use this is as a reference for later in the chapter.
Blood For Gold
The Voyambi’s watched with eager anticipation as the Kamoba battle ground was constructed as Demsey and his father eagerly went ahead and commissioned a replica to be built at Whydah.
It was a large octagon like arena only it was huge and spectacular as they immediately agreed that they would learn what they could and would host future Kamoba battles since the invitations to all of the gentry and even the common folk was offered as sitting stands were also constructed for some to sit and be spectators as musicians were brought in from far and wide to provide the music for the event as the visiting moura happily provided the books of music that were usually played during Kamoba as even the music was exhilarating just to listen to and almost impossible to at least not bob your head to the beats and rhythms of the drums themselves.
Robert Wainswright was one of the carpenters for the Kamoba arena and Siege was fairly certain that you would be affected by seeing him again but was surprised to see that you acted like he was a stranger to you, if anything, you were pleasant and polite to all the builders but nothing more than that as you and your family were eager to inspect and then praise the builders’ work each day since the Kamoba arena was actually made of steel and iron back in Dorierra to keep it from catching fire but such construction would take months of work and quite the sum of money to construct, so wood was the only other available option in such a short span of time while special paint was painted on the wood to keep the flames from immediately eating the wood the moment the first sparks would fly.
Upon the third day of training, there was a rest for the day training before everyone met for the night training because apparently Kamoba battles were played in two sets, one was during the day, usually in the morning when it was coolest, then again at night, after sunset with a feast in between as the Palace of Windsor was gearing up to hosting almost all of the gentry for the event while the populace would be given three roasted hogs and a roasted cow to feast on for the event as well and other food vendors were invited to come to sell their goods to the masses who would be coming to be spectators as the gambling houses were already getting the names of the competitors and already running bets.
But in all the comotion and excitement, Demsey still found himself unable to get a moment of privacy with you. You were always in the company of your family. And every day it seemed that Yalin and Gregori were drawing you closer and closer to them, treating you the same way they did their own daughter Charlotte as they made no mistake of lavishing gifts upon you and your brother Axal which made Ramsey both delighted yet, anxious and uneasy.
Delighted because his parents accepted Axal yet uneasy because his father had expressed that as long as you were welcome, so was your brother, but if Ramsey dismissed you as a potential marriage mate, Axal would be dismissed as well as Axal wrote to Octavia to hurry her own arrival as even Yalin was anxious for Octavia’s arrival as well- the more she could sense how dead set on you that Gregori was, but kept silent about it otherwise.
When it came time for the night training, the Voyambis were struck to see the mouras in black leather armor as opposed to the day armor that was stark white to show the paint. Almost identical to flying leathers, but with a key difference.
Where flying leathers were meant to keep heat in and the rider warm in the colder high altitude. Kamoba armor was meant to pull all the heat out and away from the body while warding additional heat off and was actually meant to be worn damp or even sopping wet. Because the wooden weapons used during the day were traded for metal ones and the metal ones were put into a fire to be super heated and then doused in oil so that the blades and other elements of the weapons were alight with fire and of course the oil on the weapons would then come off onto the leather of the opponent but the opponent, thanks to the armor, would be safe from being burned but it was still quite warm, thus the cooling effects of the armor, where after the match, the opponents would be quenched with water to keep from keeping alight with the oil marks on their armor.
It was utterly mesmerizing and Demsey nearly dropped to his knees in front of you and had to keep himself from offering himself up to you on a platter. Because just watching you wield a flaming sword like it was the most natural thing in the world, as natural as breathing, and if you had looked like a proper warchieftess in the day armor, you looked like an ethereal warrior goddess in the komoba battlefield night armor at night with your flaming swords and arrows and he was left to pleasure himself at night just to the fantasy of you laying your weapons down and letting him strip you out of that armor and feast on you like the starving man he was but his own sense of propriety would not permit him to even hint at such things in company. He still wanted to prove himself a gentleman, in everything he could, and a good sportsman.
All week you and Demsey continued to coyly and subtly flirt back and forth as the more time he spent around you, the more available he made himself both physically and in spirit and you could feel it, he was letting you in, he was engaging with you and you were adoring every moment of it and craving more but with the Raymond's practically breathing down your neck and your own family watching you closely. There was nothing you could do but pleasure yourself with your own hands, wishing and wanting so much more.
Demsey's humility and eagerness to learn from you and everyone else around him made teaching him Kamoba a joy as he seemed he was born to use it as it came very naturally to him and all of his siblings as special leather suits were commissioned just for him and his siblings so that they could participate in the games themselves and you were almost ashamed to admit that Demsey Voyambi looked at you the same way Demsey Draft did. That same- ‘there you are- my most prized and cherished companion’, although with Mr. Draft it was clearly more lustful but there was still a good measure of lust in the Duke’s looks too, although it was veiled by respect, admiration and adoration, but there nonetheless and it gave you the one thing you had been scared to give yourself- hope.
You found his attitudes and outlooks most agreeable to yourself and so similar to your own and you were so proud of him and his family for embracing their own orcish culture and heritage for the sake of Kamoba, which did take some of its techniques and disciplines from the orcish warring style as well. And to see Demsey pick up and learn to wield a proper battle axe had your heart fluttering and your loins tightening just watching him and once his leathers had been finished and delivered, you felt like falling to your own knees in front of him and offering yourself up to him because he was, by far, the most desirable companion you had ever encountered in your life up to that point as you fantasized about spending the rest of your life at Whydah, which you still had yet to set eyes on, just teaching Demsey and all of his siblings Kamoba, if only you would get to spend the nights with Demsey after spending all day in the arena he and his father were building. It was a dear and precious fantasy that you kept close to your chest.
But the Voyambis were actually taking the time and the money to build the Kamoba arena out of steel and iron back at Whydah. Like it was back in Dorierra because they wanted this Kamoba battle arena to stand the test of time and they felt assured that it was going to be the next big thing in London and you’d give anything to see it be a success.
Once the Kamoba battle arena was built, there were five fires lit throughout, in steel pans to light the weapons with firework charges hidden in the bullseyes, where the bullseyes could be changed out and replaced with fresh ones when the others were used up and when all of you ran through it to make sure it was both good yet challenging enough, for Demsey it was like watching children go through a playground, all of you trying everything out and leaping and jumping around in it and doing acrobatics to get accustomed to it as the builders were invited back to watch the battle itself which they all happily agreed to.
“So are you going to be putting your money on the Sultana Audravienne?” Sierge asked Robert after the arena had been built and the builders were putting the last of their tools away.
“No, my money is on the Princess Benyana, she’s clearly the best competitor besides the Saharan Viper.” He answered as Sierge frowned.
“So...the Sultana Audravienne, you don’t know her? She doesn’t look familiar? At all?” Sierge pressed.
“Like I said at the masquerade ball, the only lady I was with was the one I was eating dinner with, I came to the party, saw I was under dressed, rented a nicer change of clothes and spent the evening in them and then once the party was over, I changed back into my own clothes and left and went home.” Robert insisted.
“You...you were wearing rented clothes on that night?” Sierge asked as suddenly it clicked into place. He had also smelled his brother on Robert but he was too focused on your scent to notice that his brother’s scent had been on those clothes as well.
“Yes! Is that a crime?” Robert pressed.
“No, no, not, not at all, thank you, sorry, it’s just that...I’m trying to do some investigation and that would have been a key piece of information then. I will trouble you no more.” Sierge said before walked away and grabbed his brother’s shoulder.
“Ok so I may have been wrong.” Sierge confessed.
“About what?” Demsey asked as he washed the turquoise paint off of his new white leather suit as he watched you wash off the purple paint off of yourself in turn at the other set of buckets of water. He was proud of himself for landing a single kill strike while you had landed dozens, repeatedly and he had never been so happy to lose before in his life.
“The blue orc that I could have sworn I smelled Audra Draft’s scent on, he was wearing rented clothes. So whoever was wearing the clothes he rented before he actually acquired them, that’s who her lover is.” Sierge reported as he narrowed his eyes at his brother’s head as Demsey was bent over cleaning off the paint from his groin because you had placed a few leg decapitating strikes there and narrowly missed his manhood in the process. Barely. Thankfully the codpiece in the leather hid his erection to such an advance from you though.
“So unfortunately, the trail has gone cold.” Sierge lied.
“Unfortunately. But I no longer need you looking for her. I cut her out of my life that night and cut ties with her and will never bring her back into my life ever again. So just be a brother and never reveal anything to do with her and we’ll be good.” Demsey offered.
“Of course.” Sierge grinned schemingly.
It wasn’t until two days before the battle when you and everyone else wanted to go on a flight that Demsey finally seemed to seize his opportunity to talk to you as you were putting the saddle on Heavencrest in her deluxe stall in the griffin part of the stable.
“Audra, I need to talk to you.” Demsey whispered before you seemed to pop up from trying to tie the saddle to her chest as you stood between Heavencrest and the back wall of the stall before you gestured for him to come into the stall with you as he slipped in and pet Heavencrest who happily leaned into his touch and moved to accommodate him and even held her wings up to help conceal the both of you as she seemed to almost grin despite her beak, but her look was almost scheming too as she could sense a change in you and was especially attentive to you and careful around you as she gently nuzzled her beak to your body before hugging you shortly after you had come into the stall and had only stood still once you asked her to.
“What?” You asked as you and him both crouched down behind Heavencrest.
“Axal and Ramsey are lovers.” Demsey informed you lowly, his voice dropping to barely a whisper which sent a delightful chill down your spine.
“Yeah I know.” You answered him.
“So you’ve seen the signs?” Desmey asked as he felt some relief that you knew.
“Of course I have, I’m not blind. However Axal did tell me of the attraction the moment they came and there was an instant attraction between them and I’m happy for Ramsey’s happiness. And I do understand with how proper English society the scene of Ramsey sucking Axal off on the balcony above us at the masquerade ball caused quite a stir.” You murmured as Demsey nearly choked on his spit.
“You knew?!” He asked as he did his best to keep his voice down as it was his turn to look at you in surprise.
“Of course, I confirmed it in Arabic and called Ramsey the Son of Ra since Yalin’s ancestry can be traced back to Egyptian pharaohs. But I didn’t wish to embarrass anyone so I didn’t make a scene. I’ve only played oblivious until when my savior comes.” You hinted.
“Savior?” Demsey asked.
“Axal’s old friend from 3 C’s. Octavia Lafronze, she is coming with her lover Drina, who is also a highborn lady, and they are coming to take my place with Ramsey any time now or hopefully tomorrow or the day after tomorrow at the latest, I have been trying to bide my time ever since Axal reached out to her only the day after coming here and getting an understanding of my situation as well as Ramsey’s. Octavia will take Ramsey off my hands and her lover will play Axal’s wife for the public and the four of them can lead whatever kind of life they wish to. Octavia is only a few years older than me and isn’t tainted with mourkatili and can give Ramsey heirs and I will happily award Octavia whatever wealth I may win from the Morrigans to her to keep Gregori and Yalin happy and give myself a free escape from them because I’m not blind to their ambitions and wishes either. Because if you will remember our last private conversation only a few weeks now? I think that’s how long it’s been, anyway it was that I intend to marry for love this second time around and I fully intend to keep that promise to myself as well as the promise to myself that never again will I abandon my own traditions and heritage at the cost of “fitting in” into whatever society I wish to reside in. Although, with the mourkatili, chances of me producing anyone an heir is...very risky, if not downright deadly if I’m not careful, so, my husband would need to be aware of that before he would freely choose me and that fact may deter him if his duty and obligations means an heir is paramount to him.” You revealed, barely above a whisper as you finished with Heavencrest’s saddle as you cinched it in, not having the boldness to look up at Demsey to see his reaction to the news. But Demsey had figured as much himself and was undeterred by such news as he himself resigned himself to those facts.
“I can’t wait to see the Morrigans drawn and quartered for wronging you so.” Demsey answered as his rage burned him up inside, as if the Morrigans had actually murdered one of his siblings right in front of him, or had kicked you while you were pregnant to cause a deliberate miscarraige, he wanted to burn them alive for it while also providing you with every comfort for it and was willing to do whatever it would take to give you justice, peace and comfort. No matter the cost to him personally.
Such a statement made you grin happily though as the thought did delight your imagination almost as much as the thought of Demsey stripping you out of your leather flying suit but such thoughts would have to wait, at the very least until Octavia came and “stole” Ramsey away, officially anyway.
“Me either.” You grinned at him as the temptation to steal a kiss from him entered your mind before you heard Callie calling for Demsey and you both stood up.
“I’m here Callie, I was just helping Audra with the cinch on Heavencrest’s saddle.” Demsey answered his sister’s call with a quick wink at you and a grin before he left the stall and went with her down to the horse’s end of the barn as you smiled bashfully after him.
“So,” Axal said as he poked his head over the top of the stall wall where Charlico was, which scared you as you gasped and retaliated by throwing a bit of hay at him.
“Don’t spy on me!” You growled at him which got Axal to snicker a laugh.
“Oh it’s not like anything scandalous happened, but now that he knows, I’m curious to see if he will stop holding himself back from you, although I’m rather disappointed nothing scandalous did happen either once you told him the news.” Axal confessed as you pouted because you had wanted the same thing.
“Two more days right? At the latest?” You reminded yourself and Axal hopefully.
“Or less, hopefully less. Any time now really.” Axal nodded in agreement.
“Please let it be sooner than later.” You prayed with your eyes upwards towards the heavens and to whichever god cared to hear or let alone answer such a prayer.
Then, as if on cue, a messenger came to the stables, saying the Raymonds had two new guests- a Buchon Octavia Lafronze Salazar and a Dignitari Katardrina Delativa were there as you and Axal both smiled in relief together before you all happily left the stables and practically ran to the front of the house, you and Axal in the lead, almost racing each other to see who could get there the fastest where Octavia and Drina were being helped out of the carriage.
“Octavia!” You called as you happily closed the distance and hugged her tight as Axal embraced Drina first himself.
“Oh thank the gods, thank you a million times over for coming.” You thanked Octavia in her ear before kissing her cheek affectionately.
“You’re welcome.” She giggled before she returned the kiss sweetly then let go and you hugged Drina just as tightly as you and Axal traded places.
“It’s so good to see both of you again, I’ve missed you, and I owe you both so much for coming and rescuing me.” You whispered to Drina.
“From being a princess in a palace? Anytime.” Drina snickered a laugh before she kissed your cheek sweetly too as you did the same since you were also old friends with them too.
“Oh just wait until you meet the prince, you two will have a ball, we have many wonderful times ahead of us.” Axal cooed to both of them, kissing their cheeks affectionately as he pulled Octavia under one arm and Drina under the other as the three of them giggled gleefully if not licentiously as the three of them hugged together as Ramsey finally came over.
“So this is the Dauphin Ramsey Raymond, son of Yalin?” Octavia asked as she met him and immediately put the act on.
“I am, and may I just say, thank you so much for coming on Axal’s invitation as well as my own, you both look absolutely exquisite.” Ramsey practically purred as he looked at them like he was going to devour them whole as both Drina and Octavia put on a show of becoming bashful just as Gregori and Yalin came over.
“Oh Father, I hope you will forgive me, these are the wonderful ladies Axal wanted to come and visit him and watch the Kamoba battle, since they are old friends of his family. This is Buchon Octavia Lafronze Salazar and her companion Dignitari Katardrina Delativa.” Ramsey introduced as each lady seemed to take his arm as they both looked up at him wantingly as you simply stood back and looked on and made a show of looking resigned as Sierge and his family came over as Demsey watched on with a smug grin of his own because even had you not told him this was going to happen, he would have expected this eventually as Siege starred in disgust as he watched Ramsey practically drool over the new ladies as you stood back in dignified resignation. He would have expected you to be on Ramsey’s arm, not Octavia and Katardrina and he expected you to look just as green as he was with envy but if anything, you looked resigned as if you had given up on Ramsey altogether and were already accepting your defeat. Which didn’t make sense to him at all as Benny looked suspiciously from you to Octavia and Katadrina herself while Calla was relieved to see them and relieved to see that you were not in fact wounded by the change while your parents and the rest of your family looked on curiously and took your reaction of not being upset by it, as the lead on how they should also react, which was- not bothered by it- obviously- as they simply offered their greetings to them before they returned to the stables as your mother was actually relieved that you were not hurt by the new development while she was actually relieved for Axal’s sake so now he too would settle down himself.
“Come, I will show you ladies to your rooms.” Ramsey insisted as Gregori starred in disgust and thinly veiled outrage at his own son as Yalin looked both relieved yet torn.
“Well, we should probably let them get settled, let’s go for a flight shall we?” You suggested to everyone else as Axal had already followed Ramsey into the house as Rian brought Jane back with him to the stables with the rest of your family.
“Audra,” Gregori called out as you stopped and turned to him as Charlotte chose to be just a few steps behind you to eavesdrop on the conversation as she waived Zax away so she could stay and listen.
“I am so sorry, I am mortified, how could he act...I am so ashamed of Ramsey’s behavior.” Gregori tried to apologize to you as he flushed with shame as Yalin too flushed for how it looked.
“Will both of you please walk with me to the stables?” You requested as it seemed Demsey didn’t want to leave your side either as you subtly shooed him away as he reluctantly turned and went back himself, Callie still holding onto his hand.
“Gregori, the reason I have had my heart guarded from Ramsey was that I could feel he would eventually do this, if not now, then in the near or even far future, but it would always have been an eventuality. He has always struck me as the kind of man who always wants the prettiest girl in the room on his arm. And it’s clear that Octavia and Drina’s beauty outweighs my own. I am not begrudged by this, nor am I hurt in any way. I am not wounded by it either. Honestly if he is happier with either one or both of them, than I am perfectly happy for his happiness, but I will insist on my own freedom of choice to choose for myself a marriage mate who would not do to me what Ramsey has just done. Honestly I’m relieved it happened now, before there was any emotional, mental or physical entanglements on my part so that there is no hurt with this rejection. And while we are on the subject, I have no desire for that public- of a life, I would much prefer a quiet, private life in peace. I would rather live in a cottage by the sea with the love of my life than in a castle with a man I have to share with not just other lovers but with the whole country. Because you are part of the royal family, you have to keep up appearances, you have to keep up a public persona, you have to deal with gossip columns discussing every aspect of your public and even private lives which I find most intrusive, if not downright exhausting and the fact that your family carries such a heavy burden so well, does not mean that the burden is any less heavy either. And I do not wish for such a life, even as lavish and wonderful as it is. I would even happily give Octavia and or Drina a share of whatever wealth I have or may come into in the future if it will help ease the transition, just in case my own dowry was ever a factor in my own prospect as a future bride for Ramsey. Besides Octavia is not tainted with any kind of poison, much less mourkatili and is closer in age to Ramsey but yet is young enough that she can produce an heir and several spares if need be. I feel this is a good change and I know as Ramsey’s parents, I know your first concern is always the happiness and success of your children and if Ramsey is happier with Octavia or even Drina, let him be so. Octavia has over a decade of experience in court and how to navigate it, how to advise correctly, how to read the other players and predict their moves with accuracy. I do not have such skills and I would be resentful if I had to learn and use them. Do not be upset, either with yourselves or with Ramsey. It is his nature. Which he can not help at this point in his life. It would have happened eventually. I’m just glad there is no further complications in this case.” You did your best to reassure both of them as you walked in between them both with an arm in the crooks of their own elbows as the three of you walked to the stables at a steady pace.
“You are too good and too gracious.” Yalin praised. “Isn’t she Gregori?” Yalin urged her husband.
“But you shouldn’t have to be. We are still his parents, we can still make him make amends and fix this wrong.” Gregori insisted.
“This isn’t a wrong. It’s a choice. It’s a choice that I agree with. Let him have the dignity of making that choice for himself. He deserves that dignity.” You gently countered.
“As do you. It is clear that Ramsey has not chosen you and we can not force you to choose someone who does not choose you.” Yalin cooed to you with a meaningful look past you to her husband.
“Go and get a good flight in before the pre battle festivities come tomorrow. Don’t worry about anything.” Yalin urged you.
“I will, but may I still enjoy a closeness with both of you? I do adore both of you. And I would much prefer Ramsey as a brother than a husband and anything I can do to help your family and remain close to your family, I will surely do wholeheartedly and without reserve.” You reassured them before kissing each of their cheeks affectionately.
“Mama Yalin, Papa Gregori.” You smiled sweetly at them before you left their side to return to the stables, almost skipping in how light and bouncy your steps were as you felt lighter than air now that you were not carrying around that pretense as Charlotte did her best to disappear into the shrubbery around her to stay out of her parent's sight along with yours.
“She is too good, I hope whoever gets her as a husband treasures her, and doesn’t hope for an heir.” Yalin sighed bittersweetly.
“Whoever gets for her a wife will be richer than the gods themselves.” Gregori snarled angrily as he stared at his palace with resentment.
“Oh that’s if the courts rule in her favor.” Yalin tried to dismiss.
“If the courts rule against her, she’ll still be the richest woman in all of Europa.” Gregori pouted.
“What are you talking about?” Yalin asked.
“Have you not noticed that all gold that touches her, like her makeup especially, turns white when it was once gold?” Gregori prodded.
“...no.” Yalin frowned.
“Well I have. I have seen it with my own eyes. She needs our protection, and our status is the only thing doing so, because the girl is an accidental murderer and if the truth gets out. No one could save her.” Gregori seethed as Charlotte had to brace herself in the bushes to keep from falling over with that revelation.
“Gregori, what in the world are you talking about?” Yalin demanded as fear gripped her chest.
“Come.” Gregori grabbed his wife’s hand and dragged her to a lonely and private place in the gardens as Charlotte did her best to sneak through the garden's shrubs and trees to secretly stay as close as she could to her parents to keep an ear out for their conversation.
“Bellfast broke Audra’s passcodes for the scene catchers, he showed me the footage. The moment Late Count Edward tried to rape her, the very moment his flesh touched hers, he turned to gold then to platinum, which is the moura’s oldest self defense mechanism that was supposed to have been lost in the gold plague, but it is rare, only a few mouras, and I mean few as in less than five in the whole world have this new gift, the ones who do are in Dorierra as broodmares, trying to reawaken this new gift, old Edward’s solid platinum corpse crashed into the bed and broke the bed, all the servants down into the basement of Broadcove heard it. When Adura touched him again, he turned back to flesh and bone and was obviously dead. Jane and Audra paid old Edward’s doctor- Dr. Rickets off to say it was a heart attack and had the bed itself burned to cover up Audra’s guilt and all the servants paid off, and part of that payment from Richard’s whores was that their children leave Broadcove with Audra to escape abuse from Agnes Morrigan who was especially hateful towards her husband’s bastards. If she does not become the next Dauphine Raymond, and if Ramsey chooses another, the Morrigans have all they need to hang Audra and have her drawn and quartered for Edward’s murder. It was only because he was out of the way and they could inherit the estate overnight which is all they wanted anyway and because they fired back with the mourkatili that Audra was able to get the current agreement. But because we are part of the royal family, that is the only reason they dare not go against us directly and we are the only thing between them and Audra and it is because of our position and clout that we could ever hope to back Audra to win the court case anyway, but that would only ever be as Dauphine Raymond, and we would be suing the Morrigans for poisoning her to the point that she could not produce heirs for us. That is the only leg we had to stand on in the court system. Without it, Audra is done for.” Gregori revealed as Yalin gasped and clutched her chest as her own heart threatened to stop at the news as Charlotte damn near fell over and fought not to faint at the news.
“No!” Yalin balked in horror.
“How long have you known this?! This wasn’t something you learned just today, how long have you known such things?” Yalin demanded.
“The day the messenger came and delivered the message from Bellfast over a week and a half ago, Bellfast came to me later and showed the scene to me himself, Bellfast is expecting a brick of moura gold, turned into platinum as his payment to keep such a thing secret and concealed, which only Audra can give him as payment to cover up the truth of Audra’s guilt.” Gregori leveled.
“But if anyone else finds out she’s a platinum moura, the stables will whisk her back and having her turn gold into platinum the way they used to for mud into gold like in the old times. That’s no life for any modern moura to live.” Yalin argued.
“Which is why, her being Ramsey’s wife is the safest choice for her and the only choice for her besides a life turning gold into platinum for the stables or her neck in a hangman’s noose or on the chopping block without our help.” Gregori insisted.
“But wouldn’t she just be expected to turn moura gold into platinum for us even if she chose Ramsey?” Yalin questioned Gregori wearily.
“I would only ask that she do it twice. Once for Bellfast, a second, only for the family but never again, but who knows what for any other, hell if the Morrigans knew she was a platinum moura, which as it stands, they don’t, they may wish to marry little Edward back to her to take her back by force and turn gold into platinum for them too.” Gregori insisted.
“This is why you’ve been so insistent. You’re just trying to protect her.” Yalin realized as Gregori nodded in confirmation because of course Yalin would see it that way and that was the only way he wanted this to be seen by everyone else.
“And Ramsey has gone and fucked it right up.” Gregori growled as he scowled at the house.
“What if we drop the court case, drop the charges and leave things the way they are, won’t the Morrigans simply drop it if they know they could be hanged for Audra’s attempted murder?” Yalin asked desperately.
“They claim it was retribution. They think Audra poisoned Edward, which he was poisoned, but not by her. The mage is still figuring that out, but the investigation that has been ongoing since the ball at Havenfield has riled them up and put them on the warpath, they aren’t even invited to the Kamoba battle for fear they will cause an uproar.” Gregori carefully answered but Yalin knew that was a lie but she didn’t have the heart or stomach to argue with him. He was already practically seething with rage, and she had you, Ramsey and Axal to protect.
“She said she wanted to remain close to us, as long as her future husband doesn’t know about her abilities or her guilt. She may never have to and if the Morrigans can be satisfied with not going to court, then we can go on living peacefully. That is what Audra wants most- is peace and freedom, you heard what she said, freedom to choose her own course and her own peace in privacy away from the public eye. I can see now it is for her own self preservation if such a thing were to become public knowledge, she and us would be ruined beyond repair. I’m sure she will still happily turn a bar of gold into platinum for Bellfast and another for us for her thanks and her own freedom to marry someone other than Ramsey. Not all is lost and not all is for naught. But if you go up to Ramsey’s rooms now and demand he take Audra or her life is in danger, only her brother would care. Ramsey may not. We’ve already threatened him with his own ruination if he did not choose a bride this season and every last season for the last decade and what he did- was choose one who was already married on the day of her wedding when it was too late for him to claim her. He may not have even chosen her on purpose, he may have only chosen her out of panic. You know how he is. He panics and makes the wrong decisions when pressed. That is what has happened here. And when he got a chance to be with her and realized that she wasn’t the picture perfect bride he saw last, he lost interest and now has not one or even two, but now three new interests. We should just count our losses now before anything else can be hurt or damaged or be put into danger.” Yalin insisted.
“But the Morrigans have already drawn up a counter suit that even if we withdraw, they will be suing Audra for attempted murder and actual murder of the old Count Edward, I recieved the notice just this morning.” Gregori argued as he tried to calm his own anger and see things as they were and see things with a cool and level head just as you took to the skies and were already do flips and tricks in the air with the Voyambis and the rest of your family.
“When Audra lands, we can discuss this with her.” Yalin urged Gregori.
“No, give her tonight, tomorrow and the battle, after the battle, then we will discuss this with her and see what she wants to do and what is best for her.” Gregori decided because he needed time for himself to formulate contingency plans.
“Agreed.” Yalin nodded as she took her husband's hands and brought them up to her lips and kissed his knuckles affectionately.
“I’m sorry for what I said earlier about her being more trouble than she was worth. I didn’t know everything at the time, forgive me.” She apologized.
“It’s not your fault. I’m sorry I was not more forthcoming and telling you everything as I learned it. I should have been more honest and forthcoming with you as well. And...at the end of the day. Audra is right. All we have ever cared about was Ramsey and Charlotte’s happiness and the lengths we go to- to help them get that happiness are lengths any parents who love their children would be willing to do. I see it now that Ramsey was not a good fit for Audra nor she, a good fit for him and if Octavia and her companion can keep Ramsey happy and give him the heirs he needs, more power to them, but it does make protecting Audra that much more difficult, if not impossible.” Gregori admitted.
“I’m sure we can think of something. We just need to work together.” Yalin comforted him.
“I love you so much Gregori.” Yalin professed as she stood on her toes to kiss him sweetly.
“And I love you and will continue to love you, no matter what.” Gregori insisted before he brought his wife inside the house as once they passed Ramsey’s rooms on their way into their own they heard the very clear, distinct sound of lovemaking coming from their rooms before Yalin, out of morbid curiosity bent over to look in the keyhole and softly gasped at what she saw before she stood up and quickly returned to her husband’s side as her cheeks flushed all the down to her chest.
“Why would you do that?” Gregori asked.
“I’m his mother, I just wanted to make sure he was ok.” Yalin tried to excuse.
“And what did you see?” Gregori asked.
“That he is fine, more than fine.” Yalin giggled as she and her husband hurried into their own rooms.
Meanwhile Axal was balls deep into Ramsey, leaving heated open mouthed kisses into the crux of Ramsey’s neck and shoulder while Axal’s hands gripped onto Ramsey’s hips so he could have purchase to continue to stroke himself into his favorite lover as Rasmey himself was balls deep into Octavia who was splayed out on the bed while Drina was riding Octavia’s face and Ramsey thought he had officially gone to heaven. Because Octavia really was everything he had ever wanted, the prim, polished lady to everyone else, but the secret licentious whore privately but he had just not ever met her because she was at the time travelling back to the stables when he had looked two years prior. She was older, more worldly, appeared young but her soul was older and delightfully jaded and she was clearly sexually loose enough to agree to such a thing as an orgy and to see Drina ride on Octavia as he railed Octavia while also being railed himself, it was perfect and he had already lost one load, and was on his way to lose a second in quick succession into Octavia and Audra was far too prudish for anything such as this which had turned him off to her, besides, this moment, was all he had been waiting for ever since Axal sold him on the idea of Octavia and then to meet her and immediately feel chemistry and immediately feel attraction and have her act on such attraction made him feel like everything was finally perfect. All he needed was his parent’s approval, and he was good to go. He had everything he wanted in his embrace and embracing him and nothing else in the world mattered to him.
Meanwhile you were riding side by side with Demsey as Demsey tried his hand at riding Charlico and because Heavencrest and Charlico were a mated pair, they liked to fly together as you had insisted that Demsey wear an air stone helmet. A helmet that had a bright green stone near the mouth, surrounded by electrum that kept the stone “fresh” and “charged” so that the stone gave off oxygen. The stone itself was worth a small fortune but the helmet could cost at least five hundred pounds for one custom made for your head and with the helmet, Demsey could ride right along side you with no issues at all for as long as he wanted.
He could breathe, he could stay securely in the saddle and it was the greatest time of his life, so far. He felt as free as a bird himself and completely exhilarated. He could see himself making these same flights with you over and over again...for the rest of his life. To see you smile and hear you cheer and squeal and laugh so delightedly was like a drug to him and he was desperate for more. He was now more in love with you than ever. To see you so happy, and so free, he would give everything he had for it to never stop and all he needed was for the Raymonds to give up their designs on you and he would no longer hold himself back from pursuing you. Because he didn’t need an heir and a spare, although he had always imagined himself wanting children himself, but to have you in his life, for no matter how brief a time, he’d happily give it up. Sierge and Tzane could happily deliver all kinds of hiers with Benny and Calla respectively. But he would happily give you everything else. A life of private comfort, care, devotion and utmost loyalty and treasure you- all the days of his life.
Meanwhile Charlotte was damn near hyperventilating as she hurried through her own home to her private, secret study and hurriedly typed in the messengerari to the Queen herself.
“Your Majesty.” Charlotte greeted her aunt as formally as she could as she hastily wiped the tears from her bloodshot eyes.
“Lottie, what is going on? What is wrong?” The Queen- her aunt- Alexandria asked.
“My family is in trouble and my father is in over his head but he doesn’t want to admit it. And if you and your mage Altissia do not intervene, my family, the Morrigans as well as Countess Audravienne and all of her family will be implicated.” Charlotte divulged as Alexandria’s eyes got wide before she sent for her mage Altissia as well as her mother in law, the Dowager Queen Mother- Anastasia, to come see her at once and waited only a few moments before they came.
“What is this about Lottie? What disturbs you so?” Anastasia demanded when she saw her granddaughter in tears and barely holding her own composure together.
“It is a matter of grave importance.” Charlotte confessed before she had them all seated before she confessed to everything she knew and everything she had overheard from her parents in the garden just then as they all gasped in horror and outrage at the news.
“What do I do?” Charlotte asked once she was done and used her own handkerchief to dab at her eyes, to soak up her tears.
“Nothing for now. Do not let on that you know any of what you do know to anyone, not even your parents. We will all be there for the Kamoba battle. I will appeal the courts directly to dismiss both suits and after the battle, we will clear the air and see what amends can be made.” The Dowager Queen Mother- Anastasia decided.
“But if I may weigh in.” Altissia requested before Anastasia and Alexandria turned to consider her as did Charlotte.
“If Audra can turn moura gold into moura platinum, but she only gained that ability after the mourkatili was in her body and it’s various systems. That means once the mourkatili is purged from her system entirely, she may lose her ability. The other possibility is the mourkatili will also taint the platinum itself. And it will have the same properties as the mourkatili does, meaning anyone who touches it- will die instantly unless it is changed back to its original state and even then, it is a gamble if it is contaminated.” Altissia offered as Charlotte wept new tears for fear that she would accidentally touch any of it and lose her own life over it.
“If that is true, I don’t think my father or Mage Bellfast would know that. I think all they see is a girl who is desperate enough to turn gold into platinum for her freedom and her own life, not what that very platinum will do to them should they try to touch it and if they did and they will perish. None of them are thinking it through.” Charlotte realized.
“I shall see you at the Kamoba battle the day after tomorrow .” Anastasia said before she blew a kiss to her granddaughter and closed the channel.shment and if I have to move you into Buckingham Palace to do so- so be it, these truths shall keep you free, you did the right thing by coming to us. This is officially a family affair and it will be settled as such, for now Lottie, pretend like everything is fine, everything is normal and everything will go on as if nothing in the world is wrong. You can do that- can’t you?” Anastasia coached.
“Yes your Majesty Grandmama.” Charlotte nodded as she tried to find her composure again.
“I shall see you at the Kamoba battle the day after tomorrow, for now, try to- as secretly as you can- pack everything you can, do not arouse suspicion in anyone, not even your parents, especially your parents or anyone else, I love you, I will protect you. You are safe, I swear it.” Anastasia said before she blew a kiss to her granddaughter and closed the channel and turned to her daughter in law and the mage and squared her shoulders.
“Alexandria, Altissia, we have our work cut out for us. Say nothing to the King about this, because the King and Gregori keep no secrets between them. But otherwise, I think I have an idea on how we can help and save our collective royal bloody arses.” Anastasia blew out a breath of resignation as she clenched her jaw as a fire seemed to burn in her eyes.
"Yes your Majesty." Alexandria and Altissia bowed their heads and nodded in agreement.
Tą wyjątkowo smaczną makaronową sałatę, czy też - jeśli Państwo wolicie - spaghetti z warzywami, odtworzyłam i uwieczniłam na zdjęciu dokładnie według wzoru z lipca ubiegłego roku.
Gdy ją wówczas podawałam na stół było późno i ciemno. Nie udało mi się zrobić dobrych obrazków. Wyszły zażółcone, nieostre i choć próbowałam je podrasować, pozostawiały dużo do życzenia. Przepis nie poszedł.
Fotografuję zwykłą cyfrówką z rozmaitymi funkcjami, których do tej pory nie rozgryzłam, więc robię to wyłącznie przy świetle dziennym. Po zmroku moje potrawy nawet jeśli zostają utrwalone w pamięci karty, nie wychodzą poza ściany mojego mieszkania.
W ciemnościach widzą tylko niektóre zwierzęta. Człowiek, niestety, nie posiadł tego daru. Wzrok co prawda trochę się przyzwyczaja do nietypowych warunków, ale bez minimalnego źródła światła nadal panuje mrok.
Przypomina to wizytę w serii pomieszczeń Niewidzialnej Wystawy (którą gorąco polecam). Masz wrażenie, że jesteś w labiryncie, w którym najprostsze przedmioty okazują się trudną do rozszyfrowania szaradą. Gdyby nie przewodnik - prowadzący Cię momentami ostrożnie za rękę i tłumaczący odmienną rzeczywistość - błądziłbyś bez celu, jak dziecko we mgle.
Czasem tak się czuję, mimo szeroko otwartych oczu i uważnego, raczej nieocennego oglądu świata (ze wszystkim, co posiada wart jest poznania!). Aż ciśnie się na usta: “Ciemność. Widzę ciemność. Ciemność widzę!”. Przewodnikiem muszę być dla siebie sama.
Czasem też bez jasnych powodów dostaję za to po tyłku. Ale jako że sumienie mam czyste, a nieproszonych batów nie lubię, napiszę tylko...
Zróbcie sobie tę sałatę, bo warto! I zjedzcie we dwoje. Albo w rodzinnym gronie. Albo jak tam Wam pasuje. Byle z miłością.
300 g spaghetti 2 kolby kukurydzy główka brokułu pół pęczka szczypioru 1/2 kostki fety ok. 200 g jogurtu naturalnego skórka otarta z całej cytryny 3 ząbki czosnku sól i czarny pieprz do smaku
Oczyścić kolby kukurydzy z liści i wąsów, przełamać na połowy. Brokuł podzielić na spore różyczki. Szczypior dokładnie umyć (zwłaszcza korzonki, nie odcinać ich!) i przekroić na połowy. Obrać i rozdrobnić maksymalnie czosnek. Cytrynę wyszorować szczoteczką, sparzyć i wytrzeć do sucha.
Fetę pokruszyć do miski, dodać jogurt (najpierw nieco mniej niż napisałam, bo feta miewa różną wilgotność), czosnek i zetrzeć żółtą część skórki z cytryny. Zmiksować blenderem na gładko. Dosmakować pieprzem.
W średniej wielkości garnku zagotować wodę. Osolić. Wrzucić kukurydze. Powinno im wystarczyć 20 minut obróbki termicznej. Im warzywo młodsze, tym mniej czasu potrzebuje, aby dojść. Wyjąć, lekko przestudzić i odciąć ostrym nożem ziarna od kolb.
W tej samej wodzie - powtórnie osolonej - ugotować spaghetti, zgodnie z instrukcją na opakowaniu. Odcedzić.
Na 10 minut przed końcem gotowania makaronu do innego garnka wlać wodę na dwa palce, wstawić sitko do gotowania na parze, a gdy woda zawrze wsypać brokuły. Przykryć pokrywką i gotować ok. 3 minuty (powinny pozostać jędrne). Wyjąć i ostudzić.
Na patelni rozgrzać łyżeczkę oliwy z oliwek (lub oleju) i rozprowadzić ją dokładnie. Ułożyć gałązki szczypioru obok siebie i smażyć, aż się zarumienią. Odwrócić i zrobić to samo. Odłożyć na talerz obok.
Na duży półmisek lub już bezpośrednio na talerze nakładać makaron, kukurydzę, brokuły, szczypior i słuszne kleksy dipu. Resztę wystawić na stół.
Sałata nie musi być w całości ciepła. Niektóre składniki mogą być zimne. To dodatkowy walor tego posiłku.
Again, the ink went everywhere on these, but nevermind - the colours are beautiful!
New chapter of my fic just posted
Whipped lemon drop martini beverage. Perfect for the hot summer days!
Strawberry lemonade summer~
You like your fruity sets, so I bring you more! Have a lovely day!
🍋 Lemon Drop🍋
Chef’s Note: Eating it with the strawberry topping reminds me of strawberry lemonade. You can also choose to make it with blueberries or raspberries instead. Also, it is easily doubled, you’ll just need a larger pot.
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
Pinch of fine sea salt
8 tsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
3/4 cup strawberries
1 tsp white sugar
1. In a small saucepan (1 qt pot), combine cream, sugar, lemon zest, and sea salt.
2. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
WATCH THIS TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T BOIL OVER
3. Once bubbling, turn heat to low (or medium low). Simmer vigorously until mixture thickens slightly, about 4 to 5 minutes
I don’t know how to tell you what “slightly thicker” is. I went by time
4. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice
5. Let mixture sit until it has cooled slightly and a skin forms on top, about 20 minutes
6. Once cooled, stir mixture, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup with a spout. Discard the zest in the strainer
7. Pour the mixture evenly into three 6-oz (really, just small) bowls
They should only be about half full
8. Refrigerate, uncovered, unit set. This is at least 3 hours
0. Do this as the custard cools.
1. Slice strawberries and put in a small bowl
2. Toss strawberries with sugar.
3. Let fruit macerate at room temp for 30 to 60 minutes, until the sugar dissolves.
4. Top the lemon custard with some strawberry topping
ok i know all sodas are bad for you but why does sprite feel like the healthiest one
Lavender Gin ♡
As seen on @/spiriredla 🍸
Electing 2 procrastinate some responsibilities tonight and watch a movie instead bc it’s true stories tuesday and also I deserve it
Lemon Lavender Muffins 2.0 are in the oven. There was nothing wrong with the first batch, but they were gone in under 24 hours so I'm making more.
Guys, It’s so HOT!
Day in, day out.
Hotter than I can ever remember a summer being, right?!!!
That’s when light little dishes I’d normally tout as appetizers become exceedingly popular as the main course, like these light and summery Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta Crostini. Take it from me, they’re just about all you can handle right now!
Think light crunchy little toasts topped with lemon-scented ricotta cheese and garlicky sweet and juicy roasted tomatoes. Easy to eat and easy to make. Major YUM!!
Plus, everything can be prepped early in the day and then just assembled right before you sit down to eat. Toss together a cool green salad and dinner is done!
Won’t weigh you down and will definitely leave room for that mandatory frozen treat for dessert!! Stay cool, my friends!
Makes about 2 dozen toasts
Prep Time for the tomatoes: About 20-30 minutes; Prep Time for ricotta: 5 minutes; Prep Time for crostini: 10 minutes; Assembly time: 15 minutes
For the tomatoes
About 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (I generally use closer to 20 ounces since that’s what 2 grape tomato containers come out to be)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
For the ricotta
1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese
Zest of ½ a lemon
Kosher salt and black pepper
For the crostini
1 large crusty baguette, cut on the diagonal using a serrated knife into ½-inch thick slices
A few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt or kosher salt
1. To make the roasted tomatoes: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Place the tomatoes in a large glass baking dish, cut-side down. Tuck the garlic slices in between the tomatoes and drizzle the whole thing with the olive oil. Sprinkle on a pinch or two of salt and pepper and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are very soft and starting to fall apart a bit. Let cool to room temperature. You can make these earlier in the day and let them sit out or a day ahead and keep them covered and chilled in the fridge but bring to room temperature before you use them.
2. To make the ricotta: Stir the ricotta and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. To make the crostini: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place the cut slices of baguette on a large rimmed baking sheet and lightly brush both sides with the olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and spread the slices into an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes and then turn the slices over. Bake for another 3-5 minutes, until slices are golden and crispy, though these will definitely crisp up more as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You could also make these at least one day ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
4. To assemble the crostini: Spoon some ricotta onto each toast and top with a couple of the roasted tomatoes and some of the tomato juices as well. Serve immediately.