“Absolutely not!”, I said sitting at a table in the mess hall with Darius and his wife.
“Please consider the situation.”, Darius said.
“I had nothing to with her former fiance, or her current lovers. Dola is already my fiancée much sooner than I wanted, and you shoved her on me before your law dictated.”, I reminded them.
“You are being far to literal with our customs.”, the Queen said, “You need to remember this isn’t your world. The customs, and laws you had mostly don’t apply here.”
With a sigh I agreed with her about the laws, and customs I am used too.
“You can’t expect someone who was forcibly removed from his family to just rollover to your customs. I am trying to maintain a level of decency that most other humans don’t.”, I said crossing my arms, “I refuse to play to my urges. What kind of father would I be in the future without morals, standards, and a strong will?”
“Do you not find her attractive?”, she asked.
“Physically, yes I do. The thing is I hate her personality! She had some nerve trying to take her youngest sister’s fiance. Not only that making unwanted moves on me while she already has several lovers.”, I said slamming my fist on the table, “I don’t give a crap if that’s normal for you, but it won’t be for me. The eight women I travel with love me unconditionally. I love them just the same, and would do anything to keep them happy. They have stayed true to me, and never once looked at other men. How can you ask me to take your daughter who has no issue sleeping with multiple men? That habit has no place in my group.”
Fed up with my resistance the Queen gave me two options. Either take Brittany and Dola, or I don’t take either of them. Looking at Darius I stared directly into his eyes.
“You are the man in your relationship. Man up, and talk to me like the father of ten children should!”, I said, “Is this what you want? Is this decision mutual between the both of?”
Starting to turn to his wife I stopped him.
“Man up!”, I said slapping both hands on the table, “I don’t want a spoon fed answers. I want the answer you alone have.”
Looking me back in the eyes he said the decision was mutual. Seeing that he was slightly determined I knew he still wasn’t being honest. Fed up with them I walked away.
“Darvain is more of a man than you, and your father was as well Darius!”, I snapped, “Do you know why your father didn’t take you with him on the suicide run?”
Shaking his head I told him the truth. Having already lived into his late seventies the former king was showing his age. Several former injuries were already hurting him, and worst of all he was sick. Having asked me to examine him I discovered he was in the final stages of bone cancer in his spine. Before to long he would die which upset him. Taking his trusted comrades with him he went to fight so he could die in glory not as just an old man. Hearing the rest his father left Darius looked away.
“If you can’t face me with the resolve your father had I have no choice in the matter. I won’t take either of them.”, I said walking out the door.
Leaving the couple in shock I returned to my room to find the eight of them waiting for me. Laying down I gave them a rundown of the situation. Learning what had occurred they were thoroughly discussed. Calling him a whipped husband they turned to me.
“I hope you know we aren’t trying to be like that…”, Amber said.
“I know you women aren’t that way. You call out my mistakes which is perfectly reasonable. No man is perfect without loving people around him to keep him on the right path.”, I said stroking her hair, “You eight mean the world to me, and nothing will change that. The smiles I see everyday is what keeps me going.”
Cuddling up with me all of us passed out. The next day the mood was sour in the fort. I had already explained things to George, and Lagas. Both agreed it was unreasonable to force me into a marriage for someone elses sake. Spreading the word around the fort most of the beastmen surprisingly agreed with me meaning my standards weren’t so strange to begin with. Later in the day Darvain paid me a visit
“You know Dola is heartbroken, right?”, he said, “She has been bawling her eyes out since this morning.”
“Listen, if your parents want to be assholes by forcing me to take two of your sisters instead of one that’s on them. You know the type of woman I like. Does Dola, and Brittany match that?”, I pressed him.
“Only Dola…”, he said.
“Exactly!”, I said, “Your able to tell me honestly because you inherited your grandfathers iron will! You aren’t easy to push around when your mind is set.”
Nodding he sighed shaking his head. He was rightfully upset for Dola, and I was as well. I really did like her, and found her sweet, honest personality very nice. Brittany was the only hiccup in this operation. I couldn’t stand the woman nothing would change that. Coming to one solution Darvain gave me his solution.
“Take Dola tonight. If she is willing our law dictates she has to marry you.”, he said.
“You mean “that” way right…”, I said hiding my face.
Nodding I sighed in resignation. Telling him to make sure she was free he nodded happily. I decided to do it, but only to a point. I wouldn’t take her innocence, but some skinship should be alright. Speaking to the women about my plan they gave me the thumbs up. Getting things ready I got some thinks together for the evening.
After dinner I walked to the meeting point with Dola. Seeing me she took off running, and tackled me. Holding her tightly she begged me to reconsider leaving her. Explaining what had occurred with her parents she seemed to understand. Carrying her quietly to the bathing area I confirmed one last time she wanted to be my bride. When she nodded I carried her into the mixed bathing room I had reserved. Thirty minutes later Darius, and his family came barreling into the bath.
“Unhand my innocent daughter you…”, Darius said before seeing the situation.
Currently I was washing her hair wrapped in a towel. Dola was also wrapped in a towel with a pleasant smile on her face. The other eight women were lounging around in the bath looking at them.
“Can we help you?”, I said, “This bath is reserved for my party you know.”
“Hand over my daughter!”, Darius said.
“I am Mister James’ fiancée!”, Dola said, “He made me his companion.”
“Why you!!”, Darius snarled.
“According to your laws consented skinship was the requirement for a forced marriage. Taking a bath naked together counts as skinship in both our worlds. No need for me do more than that.”, I said, “The matter is out of your hands now.”
Rinsing her hair off I cared her into the bath with me removing her towel. Now I know most cultures would frown on this, but I enjoyed the skinship. Sitting down the girls scooted next to me smiling. Shaking in anger the Queen stepped forward attempting to grab Dola. Drawing my rifle which Ruby handed me I put the muzzle on her forehead. Freezing instantly her family didn’t make a move.
“No need to get grabby.”, I said with a grin, “Trying to take her forcibly will upset the women, and I. I am sure you know what I am capable of.”
Withdrawing her hands I put the gun behind me. Staring each other down I felt comfortable that we could take them in a fight if need be. Stepping forward Darvain told his mother that they were stuck. It was obvious to all Dola was here of her own consent so they couldn’t stop her. Looking at him the Queen said he must have told me that law.
“Actually the former king did. I asked about customs I should be careful of, and that was one of them.”, I said.
“I see…”, she said.
“So if you wouldn’t mind please excusing yourselves. I think you are making my family a bit uncomfortable.”, I said.
The eight women nodded, and thankfully Dola didn’t because that would have caused many issues. The men made dash out the door leaving the Queen, and her four daughters. Looking at Dola her mother told her to come to her immediately. When Dola refused all hell broke loose. I thought for a moment she forgot where she was standing, and as she took a step forward fell into the bath. Shocked the ten of us looked at the soaking wet Queen struggling to hold our laughter back. Enraged now the Queen stomped off with her four daughters in tow. With peace restored now we sighed with relief. With the tense atmosphere gone a bubbly one took its place. Straddling me started grinding my waist with no regard for Dola. The eight of them said that Dola would just have to learn not to interrupt us till she was of age.
Watching everything unfold Dola watched us wide-eyed. It was awkward at first, but as I thought about it as she was already my fiancée it should be alright…maybe. Giving Dola a kiss on the forehead seemed to make her content so I left it at that. After my little fun with Susan all of us got out, dried off, and into our bedroom. Leaving them to sort out the sleeping arrangements I went to speak with George. After discussing some deployment plans I left him headed for my room. Along the way I ran into my current least two favorite people, the Beast Queen and Brittany.
“Haven’t you asked enough?”, I said with a sigh, “This is starting to get very old.”
“I want to know what it will take for you to take her.”, the Queen said.
“Nothing because I don’t want her in my group.”, I said firmly, “Now goodnight.”
As I tried to walk past my path was blocked.
“Maybe we can come to some arrangement.”, she responded lifting the hem of her skirt.
“You’re the mother of one of my best friends. Not only that you are the wife of another of my bestfriends. Don’t through yourself at me else I will inform Darius of this.”, I said.
“Come now. There has to be something you want.”, she said.
“Yes, for you to stop asking me pointless questions. I have given you my answer so leave me alone.”, I said.
Sensing others around me I figured they were her personal bodyguards. Putting my hand on my cutlass I stared her down. Asking her if this was truly the path she wanted to take she simply snapped her fingers. Several guards attempted to jump me only to be cut to ribbons by my sword. Calling out for Darvain, and Darius both of them appeared momentarily so I could show them the situation. Seeing how far things had gotten both of them finally stepped up.
“Causing conflicts like this in camp is bad for our image!”, Darius said, “We have to ensure that the other races continue to see us as equals not animals!”
“Then make him take Brittany!”, she demanded, “No one among our kin will take her! I wouldn’t have to take such measures had she listened to me, and not slept with that fool! Now she is stuck with no husband, and a child! Only a human would accept that, but he won’t accept her!”
“She has five lovers!”, I said, “Have one of them marry her!”
“Absolutely not! She needs a reliable husband not a scumbag!”, the Queen said.
“I don’t have time for this.”, I said walking away.
After that encounter Darius promptly sent his wife, and daughters home. When it came to keeping appearances he was as strict as his father. Casually talking to him about a few days later he seemed content with how things had happened. He was definitely his mother’s son…having only met her once I could tell she was the type of woman who would get her way by any means. This included underhanded ways, but would easily crumple under pressure. That fit him like a glove.