The Battered Lamp
Chapter Thirty-Six: The Gamble of the Warrior
© Copyright 2014, 2015
Comments are very welcome. I would like all criticism, positive and negative, so long as its
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Click here for Chapter 35.
Note: Thanks to Scotstigger for being my beta reader.
Cast of Characters
Kyle Unmei Jr.: Half-Japanese/Half-Kurdish owner of Aaliyah and wielder of Earthbones. Disappeared with Chrsity after the Marid emissary’s arrival.
Aaliyah Unmei: A Jann sent to marry the prophesied savior of the Djinn. Kyle’s First Wife. Reunited with Kyle.
Fatima Unmei : Kyle’s younger sister and wife, wielder of Fireheart.
Christy Unmei nee Leonardson: Kyle’s long-time girlfriend turned third wife. A witch who follows Ishtar and wields Shadowedge. Disappeared with Kyle.
Fumi Unmei nee Nakamura: Kyle’s fourth wife. A succubus-like Yuki-onna and wielder of Windfeather. She is blind.
Britney Kingston: Kyle’s best friend since elementary school. She is a Rakshasa and has sworn to defend Kyle. She is a hermaphrodite and has claimed Phillipa as her mate. Wielder of Waterclaw.
Sultan Rashid ibn al-Marid: The despotic ruler of the Djinn and leader of the Marid clan. Wants Aaliyah dead to thwart the prophecy. Forced to accept the marriage with Faiza to stop Kyle.
Hecate: The Dark Goddess that both Ms. Franklin and Burke served. Sent a familiar to seize Faiza’s soul when she died. Hecate has possessed Faiza.
Faiza Unmei: Kyle and Fatima’s widowed mother. Killed by Burke. Her soul was stolen by a familiar of Hecate. Resurrected by Hecate as an instrument of the Dark Goddess’s vengeance against Kyle. Hecate has possessed Faiza. Married to Rashid as part of Hecate’s plan.
Makerah: An Unbound Marid, a Djinn that has violated the Laws of his people and escaped punishment through a dark ritual. A servant of Sultan Rashid and his son. Hecate, through Faiza, has enhanced Makerah.
Sheikh Tariq ibn al-Ghul: Shiekh of the vile Ghul. Rashid has contacted Tariq, alerting the Ghul of Kyle’s plan to free Kalila from Jabal al-Dhukan in Ghul territory.
Aljihm: An Unbound Ifrit and servant of Sultan Rashid. Killed by Kyle and Britney during the attack on Khoshilat Maqandeli.
Aalizunah: An Unbound Si’lat and servant of Sultan Rashid. Ordered to hunt down Aaliyah and Zaritha and kill them. Slain by Britney.
Jowdah: An Unbound Ghul and servant of Sultan Rashid. Killed by Zaritha.
Khiana: An Unbound Jann. Once a bitter rival to Sultan Rashid but now a servant of the Sultan. Ordered to hunt down Aaliyah and Zaritha and kill them. Revealed to be Aaliyah’s father. Killed by Christy, Fumi, and Fatima during the attack on Khoshilat Maqandeli.
Ms. Franklin: The deceased servant of Burke and leader of the coven. Also known as Celestite.
Principal Burke: The identity assumed by Alphonse of Toulouse, a nine-hundred-year-old knight. A warlock serving Hecate. Killed by Kyle.
Chyna Unmei nee Coel: Kyle’s first concubine. Ms. Franklin cast a spell on Kyle and Chyna, forcing them into a slave/master relationship.
Shannon Unmei nee Coel: Chyna’s hot mom and Kyle’s second concubine.
Alexina Unmei nee Kendrick: Blonde concubine.
Carla Unmei nee Tyler: Redhead concubine.
Antonette “Toni” Unmei nee Buckley: Cheerleader concubine.
Daniella “Ms. Capello” Unmei nee Capello: Kyle’s English teacher and concubine.
Lois Unmei nee Smilingfox: A lesbian Domme that serves Kyle as a concubine.
Ann Unmei nee Weaver: Fatima’s friend and strawberry-blonde hair.
Kayleah Unmei nee Peterson: Fatima’s bleached blonde concubine and former rival.
Teleisia Unmei nee Otis: Aaliyah’s African American concubine.
Phillipa Kingston nee Stoddard: Former member of Ms. Franklin’s coven where she was known as Jade. Captured by Britney, Phillipa submitted to Britney and became her mate, discovering that she is a masochist.
Mindy Unmei nee Stoneking: A nurse at the hospital where Fatima is sick and Kyle’s newest concubine.
Sable Unmei nee Purcell: Also known as Tourmaline, she was a member of Ms. Franklin’s witch coven. While fighting with Christy, she was hit by a Love Elemental’s attack and now completely loves Christy.
Zaritha Unmei: An Ifrit serving the despotic ruler of the Djinn and sent to kill Aaliyah. After saving Aaliyah, she now serves Kyle as a faithful concubine.
Naila & Tarah Unmei: Twin sisters and daughters of Hawaa. These two Si’lat are hermaphrodites and submit to Fumi as her concubines, betraying their mother’s plot to enslave Kyle.
Sheikha Hawaa Unmei nee binti al-Si’lat: Former ruler of the Si’lat Djinn. She tried to dominated Kyle, but he prevailed and made her his concubine.
Shiekh Umar ibn al-Jann: Aaliyah’s father. Believed dead, but really he became the Unbound Jann Khiana. Murder his son and heir to trap Kyle and kill his daughter Aaliyah. Killed by Christy, Fumi, and Fatima during the attack on Khoshilat Maqandeli.
Kalsom binti Abdullah: An old Jann woman that made the Kalsomid Prophecy, setting into motion Aaliyah’s sleep in the lamp.
Ishtar: The Goddess of Magic Christy, Sable, and Phillipa now serve.
Sarai: The daughter of Rashid. She is angry at her father and helps Kyle, pledging the Marid’s support to his rule if he overthrows Rashid.
Sayid: The Vizier to Sheikh Sihab ibn Jann. Helped Khiana and Aljihm to attack Kyle. Now he is the regent for Sihab’s son.
Sheikh Haleem ibn al-Ifrit: Ruler of the Sheikh. Kyle returned his beloved wife Kalila to him, and Haleem has sworn the Ifrit to Kyle’s service.
Sheikha Kalila: Wife of Haleem and rescued by Kyle and returned to her husband.
Saturday, January 29th – Khoshilat Maqandeli, The Hidden Realm
Britney followed Kyle into the War Room. The room was constructed entirely out of Sapphire, blocking any form of Djinn telepathy or scrying. She and Kyle were completely cut off, and if the Marid emissary turned out to be a trap and attack them, they would be unable to call for aid.
Her hand drifted down to stroke Waterclaw’s hilt. The katar was tucked into the blue sash wrapped around her waist. The Marid emissary was a thin, young man with swarthy skin and an oily beard waxed into a point beneath his chin. His smile set Britney’s teeth on edge.
“Great Kyle,” he bowed, washing his hands together. “I am honored that you agreed to speak with me alone. I am Uthman, the humble servant of Sultan Rashid ibn al-Marid. Salutations to you and your illustrious house.”
Kyle grew stiff, his arms folding beneath his muscular chest. “What is Rashid’s message?” Kyle growled, not bothering to hide his irritation. If Kyle wanted to rule the Hidden People, he was going to need to learn subtly. He couldn’t crash into every problem like an avalanche down a stony mountain face.
“I shall conjure it,” the Emissary answered. “Have no fear that I will attack you.”
Kyle grinned, his hand drifting down to Earthbones hanging from his golden sash. “You would not survive if you tried.”
The emissary’s smile slipped an inch. “Of course, of course. Your feats of strength have been heard all the way in Sahabah.”
Rashid must be growing desperate, Britney surmised. The Sultan cornered, his allies falling to Kyle’s cause. Nothing is more dangerous than a cornered prey.
“Conjure your message,” Kyle commanded.
Mist sprayed from the messenger’s open hand, swirling in the air, forming into the image of a blue room. No. A sapphire room.
Figures resolved. An old man, his beard white, sitting in rich, blue silks upon a throne of sapphire. A woman squirmed at his feet, chained and bound. A young Marid, a mad look in his eyes, held a knife to the throat of the woman.
“Mom?” Kyle gasped, his hand squeezing down on the hilt of the sword, his eyes towards the emissary.
Britney cocked her head. Faiza was dead. What did the Marid wish to accomplish by showing such a blatant falsehood?
“How dare you!” Kyle bellowed, his sword flashing out into his hand. “Do you think to weaken me by showing me an image of my dead mother?”
The grin vanished from the emissary’s face and he stepped back, swallowing. “Your mother is quite alive. She is a prisoner of the Sultan.”
“Say it!” growled the Marid holding a knife to Faiza’s throat.
“You better cooperate or Makerah will slit your throat,” Rashid declared, stroking his white beard.
Britney studied the young Marid holding the knife to Faiza’s throat. Makerah was the last Unbound that still lived to serve Rashid. Zaritha had said he was Rashid’s own son who had been tricked into becoming Unbound by the Sultan so Rashid could preserve his own power.
“Kyle!” the image of Faiza shouted. “Don’t listen to what they say. Let them kill me again! I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Mom?” Kyle asked, his voice warbling.
“Be strong, Kyle,” Britney said. “Your mother is dead. You witnessed her death, remember.”
“That is your mother,” the emissary assured.
“Keep speaking, whore!” hissed Makerah, his blade pressing into her neck. “Say something so that Kyle knows it’s truly you.”
Faiza bit her lip, her face pale with fear. “Kyle. I am alive. Burke cast some spell. You only thought I was dead. The Marid found me and revived me.”
“Give him proof that he cannot ignore,” Rashid commanded.
Faiza trembled; Kyle’s eyes were locked on the pre-recorded image.
“When you were six, you jumped off the roof of the house and broke your leg. When I asked you why, you said, ‘I want to be a paratrooper like dad.’ You thought the blue tarp would work.”
“It can’t be,” Kyle whispered, a tear trickling down his cheek. “How is this possible?”
“When there was a lightning, you always went to Fatima’s room to protect your sister.” A smile crossed Faiza’s lips for a moment. “But you really were just scared. I never said anything. I didn’t want to embarrass you. Besides, Fatima loved her big brother protecting her.”
Kyle’s sword lowered.
“When you were nine and the tooth fairy left you a twenty, you were so excited. But the truth is, your dad messed up. He was supposed to leave a dollar but mixed up the bills in the dark. The day you met Britney, you marched up to me after school and declared that your best friend was a girl but she wasn’t your girlfriend.”
“You said that?” Britney whispered.
“Yeah.” His voice was a strangled whisper. “That’s really her, Britney. How could they know all those details?”
“Kyle Unmei,” Rashid declared. “I have your mother. I will free her in exchange for you. In one hour, if you have not presented yourself in my court, your mother dies. If you do surrender, you will be imprisoned with all the comfort and hospitality I can provide. I shall not harm your wives and concubines so long as they swear fealty to me as Sultan. I shall keep you as hostage to ensure their good behavior. I know your wife Christy possesses Shadowedge. She will bring you to this room and she will take your mother back to Khoshilat Maqandeli.”
Kyle’s fist clenched.
“You have one hour from this moment, Kyle. I do hope you spoke with my emissary without delay.” The image froze, his mother’s face full of desperate terror, the knife still pressed to her throat.
“How long did we keep him waiting?” Kyle growled.
“A half hour,” Britney answered. “You have, perhaps, twenty minutes. But you would be a fool to go and surrender.”
Kyle fixed his eyes on her. They were hard. “Go and get Christy. No one else is to enter and you are not to speak a word of this, Britney.”
“This is the wrong decision. They will not kill her. Then they would have no leverage over you.”
“A threat is only as strong as the will to go through with it,” Kyle muttered. “Rashid has no choice but to kill her if I refuse. He would look weak.”
“And if you go, it will undo—”
“I gave you an order!” Kyle growled, spittle flying from his lips. “Send Christy in!”
“Yes, Sultan,” Britney hissed, her bushy, brown hair standing on ends. “If that is what your foolishness commands.”
Christy trembled as she stepped into the sapphire room, her black staff gripped in sweaty hands, the door thudding behind her. Britney had almost been spitting with rage when she had stormed out. Kyle stood in the center of the room, staring at an image conjured out of mist while the emissary stood pale-faced and quaking.
“What is going on?” Christy asked, forcing the words out of her mouth as she dragged her feet across the room. She looked at the image, her eyes widening. “Is that…?”
“My mother lives,” Kyle told her and pointed at the froze image. “Can you teleport us into this room?”
“I can?” she frowned, looking at him. “What is going on, Kyle?”
“Rashid is going to kill my mother unless I surrender,” Kyle said, staring into her eyes, unyielding as the mountains. “In exchange, you and the rest of the harem will be unmolested.”
“You can’t surrender,” Christy declared. “It has to be trick. Your mother is dead.”
“They gave proof. I’m going to do it. You are going to take me and bring my mother back.”
“I will not.” Christy glared at him. “You would have to be a complete fool to do this. There is no way I’m going to help you throw your life away.”
Kyle walked to her, sweeping her up in his arm. “I love you, Christy.”
“Sweet talking me is not going to convince me to help you with this stupid plan!” She squirmed, trying to break free of his grasp. “Let’s talk with everyone. You can’t make this decision without consulting all your wives!”
His lips brushed her ear. “Trust me,” he whispered.
“I’m going to surrender to Rashid!” Kyle shouted. “You can tell my wives the rest of the conditions Uthman.”
“I won’t,” Christy whispered. “It’s stupid.”
“Take me to the oasis,” Kyle whispered.
Oasis? Christy frowned, then remembered where they had entered the Hidden Realm at. “Fine!” she said loudly. “I will submit to your will, husband. Even if I think you are being a moron.”
His arms tightened around her. “Thank you.”
She transported them, folding space about their bodies. Everything compressed, consumed by the darkness that was all around them. Then they sprang into being in the oasis. It had been scarred by their battle with the Si’lat Unbound, swaths of palms and brush burned down by Fatima’s fires and great rents marred the earth from Kyle’s sword.
“What is going on!” she demanded, pushing away from Kyle.
“We’re going to rescue my mom,” he grinned. “You can drop us right next to her. I’ll deal with Makerah while you grab my mom, then we’ll teleport back home. A quick, surgical strike.”
“This is crazy,” she gasped. “They could have her wrapped in diamonds, or it could be a trap and they’re just waiting for us to appear.”
“It’ll work, Christy. I know it. We’ll catch them by surprise and prove that nowhere is safe for Rashid.”
“Then why don’t we take the concubines and the rest.”
“We can’t tip them off. We need to go now before the emissary alerts Rashid. He can’t suspect anything. They’ll kill her, Christy.” His eyes weakened, tears forming.
“I don’t know. It’s so dangerous.”
“She’s my mom, Christy. I have to do this! I already failed to save her once!”
Christy’s heart ached. Kyle’s face twisted with self-loathing. “Okay,” she whispered. “Let’s go save your mom.”
Kyle seized her, she took a deep breath, and folded space.
Sahabah, The Hidden Realm
Kyle’s body was folded, compressed, squeezed into his wife’s form. For a brief moment they were one, their flesh united as they hurtled through the space between realities. He couldn’t breathe, move, shout, scream, cry, or release his wife.
And then it was over.
Blue leaped around them.
They appeared in a sapphire room before his mother. Makerah’s dagger, curved like a serpent, had drifted away from his mother’s neck as the Unbound’s head was turned to say something to Rashid. Kyle appeared just a foot away, pushing Christy away from him as he swung his katana one handed at the Unbound Marid.
“What!” gasped Makerah, shoving Kyle’s mother away so he could bring his dagger around and block Kyle’s swipe.
It wasn’t a great swing. Kyle had been hampered by Christy’s presence. Earthbones met the dagger, sparks flying and metal grating. Makerah grunted in pain, the dagger slapped out of his hand. Kyle grabbed his blade with both hands, sending a brutal swing at Makerah’s gut as he bellowed a loud war cry.
Makerah became mist, flowing up into the air, soaring over Kyle’s head. Kyle pivoted, following Makerah down. The mist became flesh, a lanky man appeared dressed in blue. Kyle made a diagonal slash.
“That was my mother you touched!” he bellowed as his blade curved down.
Makerah’s hands thrust forward. A column of water fountained out at Kyle.
Kyle rolled left, abandoning his strike. The water clipped his shoulder, spinning him in the air. He landed badly, the wind exploding from his lungs as his upper back smacked the hard, sapphire floor of the room.
He drew strength from his sword, rising up, coughing for breath. He held his sword out before him. Golden light flared from the blade and Kyle reached out, searching for any stone in the room [that] he could use to defend himself.
Everything was sapphire. The same property that prevented Djinn telepathy and scrying, kept his commands from reaching into the gemstone.
Another gout of water shot out from Makerah’s hands. Kyle held his blade in front of him, one hand on the hilt, the other pressing against the flat of the blade, bracing it in front of him. The water hit the blade, spraying up and dissipating its force. Kyle closed his eyes as water splashed into his face, dripping down his body.
What was taking Christy so long?
He opened his eyes, glancing towards his mother. Christy was on the ground, trembling in pain. Faiza was over her, clutching the serpentine dagger that Makerah had dropped. Kyle’s mind whirled. What happened to Christy? Something glinted silver about his wife’s neck. She hadn’t been wearing any jewelry when they had arrived.
Before Kyle could understand, Makerah lunged forward, propelled by water. Kyle raised his blade, then slashed at the hurtling Djinn. Makerah became water. A sword couldn’t cut water. Not normally. But Kyle put all the strength of his conviction into the belief his magical sword could hurt this Djinn, imbuing his blade with the truth of stone.
Kyle’s blade slammed into the column of water, cutting it.
Pain howled through the water. Kyle’s blade burned gold.
The water flowed around Kyle, coalescing back into Makerah. The Unbound struggled to stand, his chest gashed open, blood welling from the wound. The Marid’s face was twisted in surprise, his eyes fixed in disbelief at the sword.
“Surrender, Kyle,” his mother called out, her voice beautiful and harsh. “Or I will slit your pretty, little wife’s throat.”
Kyle froze, turning around. His mother had seized a fistful of Christy’s brown hair, hauling the unmoving teen up. The sinuous dagger was at Christy’s throat, right beneath the half-gold, half-silver necklace she now wore. It was a snake biting its own tail.
The same type of necklace that had immobilized Aaliyah when she was captured by the witches weeks ago.
“Mom?” Kyle gaped.
“You have such a pretty wife,” his mom purred. “I would hate to have to kill my daughter-in-law, Kyle.”
Kyle left the groaning Makerah behind, striding towards his mom, peering into her dark eyes. “Are you still under Burke’s spell? Fight it. Like you did in Burke’s office. You know Christy. She’s been my girlfriend for months. You cannot harm her. Let her go and I can save you.”
“Stop there, son,” she hissed.
“Your mother is under my power,” Rashid declared. “I knew you would try such trickery. I was ready for your duplicity, Kyle.”
Kyle fixed the Sultan of the Hidden People with angry eyes. “Release my mother! Now!”
“Or what?” the Sultan sneered. “You’ll kill me.”
“There is no one between us. I could cut you down in two steps.”
“And then I would kill your wife,” his mother declared. “You wouldn’t want her pretty blood on your head.”
“Surrender Kyle. The terms I offer are still in place. Submit to my rule and I shall allow your wife Aaliyah to rule the Jann. She may keep the rest of your harem in her household. You shall have the privilege of living in my palace, as my honored guest, for the reminder of your natural life. You shall not be harmed. I will even permit you the companionship of Christy.”
“It seems like a fair deal,” his mom said. “You have always been a good boy that listened to me. Put your sword down and I won’t kill her.”
Aaliyah, I wish me and Christy were back with you.
His wish went unanswered. He was surrounded by the sapphire walls of the throne room.
Fear roiled through Kyle, mixing with his anger. He wanted to charge up at Rashid and cut the smug, old man down. He hated the triumph burning in the Sultan’s eyes. He could end all of this. He could charge up there and slice the smug, evil bastard open. He just had to be strong. As hard as granite. As unyielding as the mountains.
I just have to let Christy die.
He turned to his mother, staring into her beautiful face. There was another way he could save his wife. His mother was dominated by Rashid. She was practically dead anyways. He had mourned her once, he could do so again.
It’s probably not even my mother. It’s just a trick. Probably a Si’lat whore masquerading as my mother, a construct of water, or a spirit trying to trick me.
He would save his wife.
Kyle raised his sword over his head.
His mother stared at him without fear.
Kyle’s sword fell from his fingers. He couldn’t kill his mother. He couldn’t take the chance that it wasn’t her buried in those dark-brown eyes. He fell to his knees. His resolve snapped, shattering within him.
Christy’s hazel eyes found his, tears brimming in her dark depths. I failed you, Christy. I failed us all. His shoulders slumped, his head lowered. All his strength seemed to bleed out of him. It was all over. He had lost it all.
“I’m such a fool.”
A shadow fell over him. Makerah staggered up, blood sheeting down his body, a wild look in his eyes. He grasped Earthbones, holding it over Kyle’s head. More shame flooded Kyle. His enemy wielded his weapon.
“What are you doing, Makerah?” Rashid demanded.
“Executing him.” Makerah’s voice was thick and wet, blood bubbling at his lips. “He cut me! He almost killed me!”
“Put the sword down!” Rashid stood up, swelling with power.
“No!” Makerah raised Earthbones up high. Kyle stared up at the blade, glinting gold and silver.
“Stop this!” bellowed Rashid. “I made a promise to him. He surrendered. He shall be staying as my prisoner.”
“He is too dangerous!” snarled Makerah, spitting blood.
“And his wives and harem are even more dangerous! They will want blood if we kill him. They have the strength of force that can wipe us out. Kyle is the only hostage against their retribution. I cannot let you kill him.”
“You cannot stop me, Father!”
“Do it!” hissed Faiza. “Cut him down! He deserves it for all he’s done!”
“This is my throne room and you shall listen to me!”
“He hurt me!” screamed Makerah.
Water coalesced in the room, great homunculi bursting to life, surging with Rashid’s anger.
Makerah sliced Earthbones down at Kyle.
Kyle stared at death hurtling down towards him. A part of him wanted to die. He had only imprisonment to look forward to. Dying at Makerah’s hands seemed cleaner.
But hope flared inside him. As long as he lived, there was always a chance.
Earthbones was Kyle’s sword. He had claimed it. He reached out, summoning it to his hand. The blade disappeared out of Makerah’s grip in a whirl of gold. Makerah stumbled, off-balanced by the sword’s disappearance.
It reappeared in Kyle’s hand.
The homunculi surged forward, seizing Makerah in watery grasps, hauling the maddened Marid away as he cursed and yelled. Kyle seized his sword for a moment, preparing to rise. His mother tightened her grip on Christy, pressing the dagger into his wife’s throat.
Kyle dropped the sword a second time. “You won, Rashid.”
“No! You have to kill him!” his mother hissed as two watery homunculi seized Kyle’s shoulders, pinning him to the floor. He didn’t fight.
His mother let Christy go, standing up with grace and striding towards Kyle, murder in her eyes.
“Stop!” Rashid barked. “You will not harm him.”
“Give me this one thing, my husband,” his mother hissed. “Let his death be your bridal gift to me!”
“I have already made you Sultana! Kyle’s death was not part of our agreement.” Rashid stared at Kyle’s mother. “You will submit to me, wife, or a prison can be found for you as well!”
His possessed mother faced the Marid Sultan for a moment. “I shall be an obedient wife,” his mother purred, throwing the dagger to the floor. “I apologize. My mistress has been greatly wronged by these two mortals. I let that cloud my mind.”
“Hecate will just have to be patient. He is mortal. One day he shall die.” Rashid faced his homunculi and commanded, “Fit him with a sapphire collar and take him and his wife to their new apartment.”
The sapphire collar was cold around his neck. The water homunculi, their grip clammy, dragged him through the palace. A third carried the immobile form of his wife cradled in its arms. The corridors were lined with Marid witnessing his humiliation.
“So this is the mortal that thought he could defeat our great sultan,” sneered a richly dressed courtier, his beard oiled.
“What a deluded fool.”
Kyle hung his head. Every derisive word and sneering insult stabbed into him. Marids doused the flicker of hope he had felt when Makerah had attacked. He was beaten. He sank into his thoughts, not even hearing their jeering insults any longer.
“Greetings, Kyle Unmei,” an older, plainly dressed Marid said, waiting at a sapphire door. “I am Abu Bakir, your custodian. He opened the door. “This entire wing is constructed of sapphire.”
A smaller, sapphire room lay behind the door. The homunculi squeezed through, their bodies flowing around the frame as they dragged him through. Once the door was closed behind him, the jailer walked to the other door and opened it. A short, diamond hallway led to a diamond door. Through that door was a small, diamond room.
“Your quarters are made entirely of diamond, surrounded by sapphire. These doors shall only be opened one at a time.”
Kyle understood. There would be no opening for him to contact Aaliyah or for a Djinn to teleport him out of his cell. It was a prison designed to hold powerful beings. The constructs pulled him into the diamond room.
“This is your apartment,” the jailer declared, throwing open the last, diamond door. “If you ever need anything, I will be in here. Your every want will be provided for. We have brought many comforts from your world.”
“Thanks,” Kyle muttered.
He was thrown into his cell, landing on a rich, woven carpet. Christy was set beside him. One homunculi remained, standing before the door of the cell. Though it was hard to call such a richly appointed room a cell. A large bed draped with a silk canopy rested in one corner, shelves full of books lined the walls, and a pile of cushions were strewn before a flat screen TV and an Xbox. On a small, dark table sat a platter of dates and cheese.
It was almost like a home, but there were no windows. Kyle ripped off the sapphire collar and threw it against the diamond wall. Next, he pried the uroborous from Christy’s neck. Her amber amulet, the focus of her magic, had been taken. Kyle had never seen her without it.
“Kyle!” she gasped, hugging him tight. “What are we going to do?”
Khoshilat Maqandeli, The Hidden Realm
Aaliyah stared in disbelief at the emissary.
Kyle wouldn’t have gone to surrender!” Fatima declared, her voice hot. “He’s not weak like that!”
The emissary did not struggle as Lois and Mindy held him tight, the concubine’s fingers digging into the meat of the Marid’s arms. Aaliyah wanted to rip the oiled beard from the smug emissary’s face. I need to be calm. I need to be the Sultana.
Kyle! My love! What is going on?
She waited, controlling her fear. But her husband didn’t answer her.
“But if they really have your mother,” Fumi said. “I can see Kyle wanting to save her.”
“Kyle was convinced it was Faiza,” Britney stated. “She knew things about you and Kyle’s childhood. Small details. They seemed genuine.”
Aaliyah trembled, forcing herself not to fall apart. She couldn’t be weak. Without Kyle, someone needed to be in charge. She was his first wife. She was the leader of his harem. She had to be strong for him.
“Then let’s attack!” hissed Fatima. “We have the Ifrit and the concubines. Let’s attack Sahabah right now, end Rashid, and save our husband from his idiocy!”
“We can’t be rash,” Fumi said, putting an arm around Fatima’s shoulders. “We have to think this through.”
“There isn’t time to think!” Fatima knocked Fumi’s hand away. “It is time to act.”
“Kyle did not take the time to think,” Britney said. “And now he has surrendered to them. We cannot make his mistake. We need to gather information, make a plan.”
“Exactly,” Fumi nodded.
“Fuck plans! Kyle needs our help!”
“Does he?” Fumi fixed her sightless eyes on Fatima. “What if he went to rescue her? He took Christy. She can teleport.”
“Then they would be back by now!”
Aaliyah grasped that idea. “Yes. Our husband would not surrender himself. He isn’t weak. He would want to save his mother.”
“That’s our master!” Chyna exclaimed.
“Then why didn’t he take me?” Fatima demanded, her face falling. “She’s my mother, too!”
“Because he is a fool,” Britney muttered.
Fumi hugged Fatima. “I’m sure he thought this was the best way.”
“Lois, Mindy, take the emissary to the sapphire cells,” Aaliyah commanded, clapping her hands. “Then we need to make plans in case something happens to Kyle.”
“Nothing will happen to my big brother! He will save mom and come back to us.”
“That is what I hope…” Aaliyah’s voice faltered.
“Always plan for the worst,” Britney stated. “You can hope for the best, but you must be prepared with contingencies. If Kyle was planning a surgical strike, he should have been back by now. Something may have gone wrong. We need to figure out our next step.”
“Yes,” Aaliyah nodded, flashing Britney a grateful look. “That is what we shall do.”
“Who made you the boss, Aaliyah?” Fatima demanded.
“I am Kyle’s first wife.” She forced herself to be strong. To be the Sultana. “In Kyle’s absence, it falls to me to lead us. So we are going into the war room, and we shall make plans in the event Kyle is captured or…killed.”
Fatima recoiled. “He can’t die…” Tears brimmed in her eyes. “He can’t!”
Fumi hugged Fatima tighter. “He won’t. But…we need to plan for the worst. But our husband is strong. He will survive. Believe in him.”
A Jann courtier walked up. “Sultanas,” he bowed. “Another emissary from the Su…Rashid has arrived. He demands an audience with you.”
Fear clutched at Aaliyah’s throat. “We shall receive him in the throne room.” She didn’t know how she kept her voice from cracking.
She wanted to run away as she marched to the throne room. She wanted to hide beneath her bed and wait for Kyle to come home. She didn’t want to face Rashid’s messenger. There was nothing good in this. Kyle had failed.
He may even be dead.
Aaliyah sat upon the tourmaline throne. She felt so small.
The emissary strode in, carrying a bundle wrapped in blue silk. He was young and fit, an oiled, black beard twisted into a pair of points beneath his chin. He knelt before her throne. “Sheikha Aaliyah binti al-Jann Unmei, I greet you in the name of our great sultan, Rashid ibn al-Marid.”
The emissary uncovered his bundle, setting it on the floor. Earthbones. Kyle’s sword. Aaliyah’s stomach roiled. Her husband had surrendered or been killed.
“What are your master’s words?”
“Your husband has surrendered and knelt to Rashid. He shall dwell in comfort in Sahabah with his wife Christy. No want of his shall be found lacking. Rashid wishes you to know that he is merciful to his fallen enemy. But Kyle’s comforts depend solely upon you, Sheikha.”
“I am no Sheikha,” Aaliyah corrected.
“Sultan Rashid acknowledges that you have a claim to the Sheikdom of the Jann. He will allow you to rule your people in peace. So long as you and Kyle’s other wives support Rashid as Sultan, your husband she shall continue to live as an honored guest.”
“An honored prisoner,” hissed Fatima. “This is bullshit!” Her spear flashed into her hand and she strode past Aaliyah’s throne.
“What are you doing?” Aaliyah demanded.
“I’m going to get the Ifrit and then I’m going to storm Sahabah and rescue my idiotic brother.”
“What if the Marids kill Kyle before you can free him?” Fumi demanded, striding out to seize her arm.
Fatima froze in her grasp, biting her lip. She glanced at Aaliyah and her thoughts burned clearly in the Djinn’s mind. *I wish Kyle and Christy were back with his Harem, so we can have sex!*
Aaliyah had to grant the wish. However, her powers couldn’t reach out to Kyle. They have him imprisoned within Diamond and Sapphire, Aaliyah thought to Fatima. Rashid is not stupid. Calm yourself, my sister-wife. We must pretend to capitulate so that we can strategize on how to free our husband.
Fatima closed her eyes, then ripped free of Fumi’s grasp, striding back to join the harem.
“We agree to Sultan Rashid’s terms,” Aaliyah declared.
Sahabah, The Hidden Realm
“Can I speak with you in private, my loving husband?” Faiza purred, rising up from Makerah’s form. She had just healed his wounded, broken son.
Rashid had mixed feelings about that. His Unbound son was useful, but he was also a threat. His insolence today had reached a new level. Perhaps it is time to break his chain and let him die?
“What do you want to talk about?” Rashid asked his wife.
She gave him a sweet smile—he didn’t trust it. But her figure was lush beneath her skirt, her stance inviting. Last night had been the most vigorous, passionate night Rashid had ever experienced. He had no idea his body had such stamina or that he could take such delight in the flesh of a woman.
She was intoxicating.
I need to be more careful than ever.
Her hand drifted down between her breasts, pressing the material tight against her lush mounds, then continued sliding down across her stomach. “Doesn’t every new bride yearn for her husband’s bed?”
Rashid’s cock hardened. He swallowed. He couldn’t find a reason to deny her request, or his bodies desires. “Very well, my love.” He didn’t love her, but he did love that lush body. “I’m sure after such a stressful afternoon you are in need of comforting.”
“Greatly, my husband. My brutish son unnerved me. I need to find solace within your arms.”
Rashid rose, sweeping from his throne, Faiza following along behind him, his servants trailing at a respectable distance. He used a small door at the back of his throne room that opened on to a hallway leading to his private apartments.
This afternoon had gone almost perfectly. As long as he kept the knife to Kyle’s throat, his wives would be cowed. They were only women. They had no business interfering in men’s affairs. Aaliyah would meekly accept the Sheikdom of the Jann while the Ifrit would have no choice but to remain cowed. Sahabah’s defenses could hold, if only barely, against the Ifrit alone.
And now he would taste his victory in the arms of his enemies mother.
“You seem happy, my lord husband,” Faiza purred.
“I have crushed your son.”
“So well.” Her voice was throaty, thick with lust. “You proved how much stronger you are than my son.”
Rashid walked faster. He had to take this woman. His blood boiled through his veins.
He threw open the doors to his apartment, waving the servants to stay outside as Faiza swept in, her hips rolling. She flashed him a smoky glance as she passed, her hand brushing the front of his pantaloons; his cock throbbed beneath her touch.
She walked to his bed, her silks falling to the floor. She was dark and beautiful, her skin flawless. She looked over her shoulder at him, the profile of her round breast and hard nipple peeking out. Rashid’s mouth watered.
“You were so strong today. Let me worship your strength with my body.” She stretched out on the bed, her legs parting. She strolled a finger through her damp bush, twirling her pubic hair with one hand. “See how excited your prowess has made me, my husband. Feel how wet I am.”
His clothes vanished into mist, his cock thrusting hard before him. He moved to her, crawling across the bed. He kissed her dusky thigh, her hands cupping his face as his beard slid up her leg. She shivered, spreading her legs wider, pulling his lips to her pussy.
Her tart excitement filled his nose.
She shuddered as he licked her, savoring her juices. “My strong husband!” she gasped. “So wise and wonderful!”
He licked harder, spurred on by her words, his tongue sliding through her petals. She tasted divine. No wine or candied date had ever tasted so delicious. He drank more of her ambrosia, her hips writhing beneath the pleasure of his mouth.
“So wise!” she moaned. “And yet you allowed my son to live.”
He pulled away, looking up at her. “You know why I let him live.”
She pulled on his beard, drawing him up her body. “Because you’re afraid, my lord? Which is so foolish because you’re so strong.”
Her legs wrapped around his hips, pulling him tight, bringing his hard cock to the opening of her pussy. He slipped in, groaning as her tight, spongy flesh engulfed him. He shuddered as inch after inch of his cock slipped into her depths.
“My strong husband!” she gasped. “Afraid of a few women!”
“I am not afraid,” he groaned, his hips thrusting hard.
“Then kill him.” Her hand stroked his face. “For me, my love. I’ll be ever so grateful.”
Her pussy pulsed and writhed about his cock. New delights blossomed inside Rashid. He wanted to say yes. To let the boy die for all the trouble he had caused.
But Rashid was not an idiot.
“He lives! That is my will!” he pumped harder, savoring every bit of her flesh.
“Please, husband. Give me this one little thing.”
“And ruin all my plans?”
Her eyes flared. “You will not submit to my whim?”
“You are my wife,” he growled, thrusting harder. “You submit to me, whore!”
The bed creaked and groaned with the vigor of his thrusts, the pleasure swelling through him.
“You will never obey me,” Faiza sighed.
“You must think I am as weak as my son!” Rashid growled, pounding her pussy without mercy, extracting every last ounce of pleasure from her cunt.
“I had hoped. You may kill him, Makerah.”
Rashid screamed in pain as Makerah formed out of mist, thrusting his hand through Rashid’s back and grasping the Sultan’s heart. Rashid gasped, staring down at the triumph in Faiza’s eyes.
“Your son will make a much more biddable Sultan,” Faiza purred.
Makerah ripped out Rashid’s heart. The Sultan of the Hidden People fell dead upon his new bride.
Christy leaned against the diamond door. “No spell works. Without my amulet, I don’t have the focus I need to channel Ishtar’s power properly.”
Kyle didn’t answer her. He still sat on the floor, staring up at the ceiling.
“Do you have any ideas, Kyle?”
Her husband had been broken. He had surrendered to save her. Despair filled his heart and Christy couldn’t seem to reach through the morasses that covered him. She walked to him, kneeling before him and cupping his face in her hands.
Kyle didn’t resist as she forced him to look at her. “Speak to me, my love. Don’t withdraw.” Tears misted her eyes. “I need you to be my strong warrior.”
“I fucked up,” he whispered, his voice cold, dead.
“You just wanted to save your mom.”
“And I failed again.”
“Don’t give up. There’s still hope we can save her. Aaliyah, Fatima, and Fumi are still free. They’ll find a way to save us.”
Kyle pulled away, stretching out on the floor. “We’re going to spend the rest of our lives in this room, Christy.”
She stretched out beside him, resting her head on his chest. “At least we’ll be together.”
Hecate forced Faiza to heave Rashid’s corpse to the floor. Makerah stood over, his hand coated in blood, a wild look in his eyes. He brought his hand to his lips, licking his father’s blood. The Unbound were all broken in their own ways.
“I get to be the Sultan finally,” he grinned. “My father cannot stop me now.”
“No, my pet,” Hecate purred through Faiza, commanding her vessel to stroke Makerah’s face. Hecate had made him her familiar, enhancing his strength. Without it, he would have been killed by Kyle’s blade in the throne room. “And I will be your Sultana.”
The power of the Hidden Realm was at hand. She would finally have the strength to destroy that slut Ishtar. Rashid had proved too strong of will to be controlled, but Makerah was perfect. He was already bound by Rashid’s chain, used to the domination of another.
“Kyle needs to die,” Makerah hissed. “He hurt me. I need to rip his body limb from limb.”
“Yes,” Faiza purred. “And you don’t need to hide your full strength from your father any longer.”
“Kyle must die now.”
Hecate didn’t care at all about Kyle. But there was no harm in letting Makerah have his revenge against the youth. “Let us go and attend to him,” she smiled. “You have earned your reward, my pet.”
Makerah strode eagerly forward and Hecate forced Faiza to follow, not letting her vessel dress. Hecate did not care about Faiza’s morality.
Please don’t kill my son, Faiza moaned in the depth of her soul, pulling at the chains of Hecate’s power. Please! He’s an innocent.
Hecate laughed. There were no such things as innocence. Every baby came into the world stained in blood and afterbirth.
The courtiers and servants of Rashid gasped in horror as Makerah strode out. “I am the Sultan now!” he cackled, still clutching Rashid’s heart. None of them had the backbone to deny him.
“Sultan,” they bowed.
Faiza followed Makerah as he brandished Rashid’s heart to all who passed, reveling in his father’s downfall. The Unbound was more unhinged than usual. They entered the sapphire wing, the homunculi obeying Makerah and parting to let them pass.
In a small, diamond antechamber, the jailer arose, gaping, “What is going on?”
“I am going to see the prisoner,” Makerah cackled. “Open the door.”
“The Sultan left clear instructions that no visitors were allowed inside.”
Rashid brandished the heart. “Father says its okay. See. He sent his proof along.”
The jailer’s face paled.
“I would obey your new Sultan.” Hecate forced Faiza to smile. While Makerah dealt with Kyle, she would enjoy chastising Christy for her betrayal of her oaths. Ishtar’s power could not reach this far to protect the cunt.
“At once, Sultan,” the jailer bowed and opened the doors to Kyle’s cell.
To be continued…
Click here for Chapter 37.
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