This is a sketch of the second marriage proposal between king John and queen Claire (she’s a widow and he isn’t exactly free to marry). They were talking about forming an alliance when John got overexcited and declared war on Claire’s kingdom, and the two of them make peace in a rowboat while their various advisors have panic attacks and look on from the distant shore. This is from my fantasy book that’s nearing completion.
An Extra Companion
The girl standing near the ice wall was tall, voluptuous, and wearing what appeared to be a top and shorts that could function, in a pinch, as swimwear. She was most definitely, Diana thought, in her twenties, and had the kind of figure that was either the result of incredible genetics or a lot of surgery.
“I’m Diana,” Diana said.
“But you’re the Domicile, right? You’re home base,” the tall woman with curves said. Diana blinked.
“I suppose I am. What’s your name?” Diana asked. She was, despite her best intentions to avoid the thought, now imagining this woman flouncing about and giggling with Stuart. A pair of images blossomed in Diana’s mind; the first was of this woman with an enormous pregnant belly, and the second was of her smirking in an irritating way and waving as Diana was spirited away by the aliens.
Diana felt irritated. She’d asked the young woman what her name was, and the voluptuous female tossed long, dark hair over her shoulder and gave Diana a dazzling smile that was only partially visible in the low light offered by the glowing ice.
“My name is Tiffany. Hi,” the woman said.
“Well, hello Tiffany,” Diana said, attempting to control the surges of heat that were moving through her body, urging her to compare herself to the woman, who was much taller and several years older than herself.
“Well, Diana. Nice to meet you. So you’re really important. Um, are there any house rules I should know about?” Tiffany asked, looking and sounding a little too cheerful.
“What are you here for?” Diana asked.
“I’m the extra companion. They said–I mean, we heard there could be more sent down if you did a good job, like that you could earn us, so I’m the first extra. Isn’t that exciting?” Tiffany asked, a slightly manic gleam in her eye.
“Sure,” Diana said. She was on the point of telling Tiffany to make herself comfortable outside, as Diana really didn’t want the woman coming into the house, when the front door opened and closed. Diana didn’t want to see Stuart’s face as he reacted to the newcomer, so she kept her eyes on Tiffany, who looked over Diana’s head and smiled.
Diana felt ignored, jealous, and angry, not because she wanted Stuart to herself, but because she’d already started to look forward to a quiet day tomorrow. She and Stuart, when they weren’t fighting, were really good at ignoring each other, and there were several shelves of books in the house that Diana wanted to look through when it was light enough outside to read.
“Hey, baby,” Stuart said, and Diana felt his arms close around her from behind.
She hadn’t expected him to touch her or even speak to her now that there was an attractive option number two available, and Diana stiffened and tried to pull away.
“No, no, honey,” Stuart crooned, tightening his hold and doing a sort of kissing thing against Diana’s ear that made her squirm.
“Stu, this is Tiffany. I kind of think she’s for you,” Diana said, gesturing at the young woman, who was grinning with a fixed expression at Stuart.
“Hm-mm, baby. Hi, new person,” Stuart said without looking at Tiffany, who was starting to look sort of mad.
“Hi,” Tiffany said, tugging at the bottom of her very small top, which made the cresting curves of her chest bob slightly. Stuart didn’t seem to notice, as he was digging his mouth in a wet kind of way against the base of Diana’s neck.
Diana would have been making a lot of protesting noise over this if she hadn’t been so fixated on finding out what Tiffany was going to do.
“Are you ready for bed, Di? Come on and snuggle,” Stuart murmured, squeezing Diana around the middle and nuzzling along the other side of her neck.
“Stu,” Diana said, and she was appalled to find that she sounded like an impatient but fond girlfriend. Well, this is frustrating, Diana thought, but as Stuart went on pressing his lips along her neck, Diana found that the gradually increasing fury in Tiffany’s eyes was highly gratifying. I’m being so shallow right now, Diana told herself, but she softened a tiny bit into Stuart’s arms and tipped her head to the side. Stuart made a happy grumble and started to lick her, which made Diana squeal and fight free.
Stuart let her go and Diana hesitated, standing between Tiffany and Stuart, and then moved over to the side and stared between them to see what would happen.
“What are you doing here, new person?” Stuart asked, studying Tiffany’s bare feet.
“Aren’t you going to look at me?” Tiffany asked with a bite in her voice.
“She’s a jerk. Think they’ll take her back and send a different one if we complain?” Stuart asked Diana, who blushed and tried to stop smiling. She still hated Stuart, but she had to admit to herself that he was being awfully endearing in this moment.
“I’m here. I’m staying. You can’t look in my eyes?” Tiffany asked.
“New person, if you’re going to be that obvious about things you might as well just take off your clothes. Di, can we make her stay outside? It’s warm enough,” Stuart said.
“I was kind of thinking the same thing,” Diana admitted, looking over Tiffany’s way of flaunting her body. Tiffany made an irritable noise and took her clothes off. Diana’s eyes got really wide. Stuart burst out laughing and watched the small scraps of Tiffany’s outfit hit the grass.
“There. Happy?” Tiffany demanded.
“Are you a breeder? I mean, is that why you’re here?” Diana asked.
“That’s rude,” Tiffany snapped.
“Is it true?” Stuart asked. Tiffany was silent for a little while, chewing on her lip and kicking at the grass.
“Yeah,” Tiffany said in a very quiet voice.
“There are some clothes upstairs. An older girl used to live here,” Diana said.
“I don’t want her inside,” Stuart said at once.
“Tiffany, tell Stuart you’re attracted to women,” Diana said. Tiffany blinked several times and Stuart frowned at Diana, who shrugged.
“Stuart, hi. I’m a lesbian. I’m only attracted to women,” Tiffany said, looking ready to laugh at herself.
“Well,” Stuart said, his expression softening. Diana giggled and Tiffany stared at Stuart and then burst out laughing.
“You just heard her say that to me, that I should say it,” Tiffany said, shaking with laughter. She was naked, so her body bounced a lot. Stuart was looking away in a pointed manner.
“So. It still makes you less threatening,” Stuart said with a slanting shrug.
“Seriously? I just have to tell you I’m into girls and you don’t mind me being inside?” Tiffany asked.
“Give her your shirt, Stu,” Diana said. Stuart frowned at Diana; she nodded in an encouraging way and Stuart took off his shirt and gave it to Diana, who handed it to Tiffany.
“Thanks,” Tiffany said, pulling the too-large shirt over her nudity. As soon as Tiffany was covered, she vanished.
“Oh, boo,” Diana said, glaring at the space where Tiffany had recently been.
“What happened? Explain this to me,” Stuart said, reaching for Diana’s hand. She pulled her fingers out of reach and Stuart snarled and came closer, capturing her hand and holding it in a firm grip. Diana’s heart made a flash of fear.
“Let go,” Diana said. She could feel Stuart wanting to kiss her again and she tugged on his hand.
“Di, we’re going to bed. I’m going to cuddle you, and that’s it. You’re going to explain what just happened,” Stuart said, pulling her towards the house.
Diana thought about kicking him or fighting back, but she didn’t like the tension through his shoulders, and she thought her chances of calming him down were better if she let him be in charge for another two minutes.
I definitely won’t get into bed with him, though, Diana told herself, letting Stuart pull her up the steps and towards the front door.
You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, the hunting party is going after birds on the planet Domasus.