Black Queen's Gambit - Part 2

"Last night ... you didn't, did you? Not with my mother!" The look on Rinnala's face was a complex mixture of emotions. Hope that nothing had happened, mixed with all sorts of disbelief that her mother might have actually...

He assured her that Morgiah had just wanted him where she could keep an eye on him, and all that had happened was sleep. He had to stop himself showing any disappointment, as he wasn't yet sure how Rinnala would react to him finding Morgiah attractive. Or even, as he suspected, to her thinking the same of him.

Rinnala saw her mother walking over to them, and asked "Are we leaving today?"

Morgiah responded that with the day's fine weather, it would be just what anyone would expect them to do, so they wouldn't.

"Then could I go down to the beach for a swim? It looked deserted when we came ashore, except for a mud crab or two."

Morgiah looked questioningly at Clark, and then replied. "Why not? Let's all go."

As soon as they reached the edge of the sand, Rinnala was slipping out of her shoes. If Morgiah hadn't stopped her, she'd have taken everything off, and just run naked into the ocean. "Pick those up, and make a tidy pile of everything over on that rock!" she was instructed.

That didn't slow her down by much, and soon Clark and Morgiah were watching her frolic in the waves, while they took off their own clothes at a more sedate pace, and added them to the pile. Morgiah asked for a lot more assistance with the process than she needed. Clark was glad to have his attention pulled away from the display that Rinnala was putting on. He rather wanted to have a swim himself, before the ladies decided he was ready for anything else.

He could politely close his eyes when Morgiah revealed too much, and not give any offense. He declined her offer to assist him unlacing his pants, and quickly got into the water before she could make any other move.

That seemed to amuse her immensely. He felt her splash into the water behind him and she whispered in his ear. "If you'd let me, I'd have cast a spell to solve your problem. It's one I use when I want to humiliate a man, but it has its beneficial uses, too!"

"Does Rinnala know that spell?" he asked.

"Of course, but I can't imagine her wanting to use it," Morgiah responded, pulling him around so that he'd have to look at her, and not Rinnala. The younger woman was bending over in the shallow waves near the beach, pretending to look for clams. "And don't worry, the opposite spell is beyond anyone's abilities."

"Ah! You know there's a potion for that." Clark told Morgiah about Miranu's wonderful potion #9.

"Really? That could be very useful!" she exclaimed. "The most powerful men are quite often advanced in years, and not always as ... amenable to persuasion ... as the younger ones. That potion could make all the difference."

With that happy thought, she took his hand and lead him out into the deeper water to swim.

Morgiah dived down towards the bottom, and he drew a deep breath and followed. She levelled out and skimmed her hand through the top of the sea-grasses, flushing small fish out of their hiding places, and watching them dart around trying to hide again. After about a minute, she rolled over to face him, and beckoned, but he was heading back to the surface for air.

"Don't you know a water-breathing spell?" an incredulous Morgiah asked. "I'd better teach you one quickly, or you and Rinnala won't be able to hide from me."

Alteration wasn't his area of expertise, but that really was a simple spell. Still, it took a couple of tries before he got the casting motion right, possibly because what Morgiah was doing would distract anyone. Two could play at that game, he thought.

Morgiah thought that turnabout was more than just fair, but she lifted his head and pointed over his shoulder. Rinnala had spotted them on the surface and had swum out to join in the fun.

Morgiah had another spell to offer when the three emerged from the water to look for the rock that was keeping their clothes dry. She summoned three heated towels, handed one to Clark and asked him to dry her back. Rinnala picked hers up and got to work on Clark.

Back at the camp, it was clear to Clark that a lot of the earlier tension had gone. Morgiah seemed to trust him now, and she also appeared to have decided not to tease her daughter by keeping too close a rein on him. Now his worry was that they might decide to share, instead of take turns. He'd had practice with Minx and Carwen, and of course Angeline and Diablita, but that was just pleasure, and these two were business.

"We'll leave tomorrow," Morgiah announced, "so you two had better make the most of the large tent tonight. We don't know what accomodation there will be for us at Brotch Camp."

"Rinnala, he can walk on his own...."