Carahil - I

Clark was talking to Nocturnal about the imps in Moonshadow. She seemed to know more about imps than her sister did, and Clark was fascinated by the subject.

"So there's only one queen," he asked. "What happens if she dies? Does the whole colony die out?"

"No," Nocturnal answered. "You know all the lesser imps are apparently neuter. Well, they're really just undeveloped. If the queen dies, then without her magical influence, the young ones will start to develop. One will become a full female, and grow to replace her. The drones develop in the same way. They're separated from the queen when they're young so that they can grow up into males. The worker imps that attend them are the older ones, whose potential for change is over."

"So if a young imp is brought up away from the colony, it starts to become a male or female?"

"Yes," Nocturnal affirmed. "And as long as it can find a mate, it's capable of starting a new colony of its own."

"I wonder if they know about that at the Anvil Mages' Guild. Sparky's just a youngster, and I'm sure Thaurron wouldn't have tamed him if he knew. I'll have a word with Randonil when I get back to Tamriel. The imp's naughty enough the size he is, without him growing to the proportions I've seen in Moonshadow."

When Clark got to Anvil, he was surprised to find Carahil back behind the desk.

"No, Randonil's still the guild head, but I fill in for him when he's up at Gweden. I came back here when the Council of Mages split up over the necromancy issue. This is my home town, and I want to spend some time thinking over what I want to do next. Randonil was kind enough to let me stay here until I find a place of my own. The only house available in Anvil at the moment is Benirus Manor, and you know how I feel about that place!"

That told Clark that Randonil was at Gweden, so he went looking for Thaurron instead. He didn't seem to be around, and none of the others knew where he'd gone. "Shopping in town, or exercising Sparky along the shore" were the most likely suggestions.

Clark sat down in the library to read a book, and wait for either Randonil or Thaurron to return. He must have dozed off, as it was quite dark when he heard a chittering noise from the bedroom.

"Not now, Sparky," Carahil's voice said from behind the door. The chittering grew louder and more insistent.

"Oh, all right, just a little."

Clark was used to Sparky constantly begging for treats. The imp would steal sweetrolls from your plate if you didn't watch him like a hawk. He paid little attention, until the sounds from the bedroom changed into something else. He could hear the soft moaning of a woman enjoying the moment.

"Sparky, you made a mess again!" Carahil scolded. The door opened and Sparky was pushed out of the room. A somewhat larger Sparky than Clark remembered, more of an adult.

Carahil gasped and clutched her robe around her. "I didn't know you were there! This isn't what it looks like! Please don't tell the others!"

She dragged Clark into the bedroom and closed the door, pleading with him to understand.

"Sparky's grown so much while I was in the city with the Council of Mages. Although he's Thaurron's pet, he's always followed me around, as I'm taller than the others, and he sees me as the leader. I'm not sure if he thinks he's man or mer, or if he thinks we're all just strange-looking imps, but he was brought up among people, and doesn't know any different."

"It seems that now he's becoming attracted to me in that way. He likes to look at me naked, and touch me where he shouldn't," she continued.

"And you let him," Clark reminded her.

"Well, yes. I found it amusing at first that he'd want to do that. A little exciting, too."

"So what happened this time?" Clark asked.

"I was getting undressed to get into bed, and Sparky was in the room. He'd always been allowed all over the guild hall when he was little, and nobody had thought to change the rules as he grew."

"He came over and watched as I lay down, just hovering at the end of the bed with a growing erection. So I lay on my back and let him watch me play with myself. I wouldn't let him do anything, just watch. And I watched him, as he did the same. I was using a weak command spell to keep him away, and I suppose my concentration slipped a bit, because he got closer than I wanted. His hands were gentler than I expected - I imagine Thaurron keeps his claws clipped. I tried to stop him, but he was too excited. His fingers replaced mine, and I lost control."

"Just his fingers?"

"Yes, I didn't let him go that far. But then I did have to give him his release, or he might have tried to. And my hand wasn't enough."

"I heard you mention a mess."

"He pulled out of my mouth when he came, and flew backward, trailing a spurt of imp semen all over the bed. He got his composure back and swooped towards my spread thighs, with round two on his mind. That's when I pushed him out of the room."

"I'm still trying to figure out why it was all right to do what you did, but not any more. Are you just trying to tease him like you would a person? So that it will be more intense next time?"

Clark felt Carahil temble slightly at the thought. He wasn't sure if it was fear or anticipation, but either way, it needed a reassuring hug. Her response caught him off-guard. It seems it wasn't only the imp that wanted a round two, Her robe dropped to the floor and she flung her arms around his neck, kissing him passionately.

Never one to refuse a well-intentioned offer, Clark spent the next several minutes doing what the imp hadn't. When they'd got their breath back, he repeated his question. Why did she set the imp's limit where she did? Why so far, but not all the way?

"Because he's just an imp. It wouldn't be right to do it all. I know they train goblins for it in the Summerset Isle, but this is different."

"Then why let him get as far as he did? You could have shut him out of the room before you took your clothes off, but you didn't. You had the control, at least at that stage. And you know that you wanted more. You just proved that."

"As I told you before, he's always had free reign to roam all over the guild hall, so he'd been used to coming into my room, and seeing me naked. They called him Sparky, because you always got a tingle of shock magic when you touched him, or he touched you. Not at all unpleasant, and if he touched the right places, quite arousing. I'll admit that I let him do that when he was little, even encouraged him, thinking it was harmless fun. He seemed to like it, too. You usually had to bribe him with a sweetroll if you wanted him to do something. I never needed one for that."

"But then you came back to find he'd grown up."

"Yes, and he'd grown some equipment he hadn't had before. So now I could be sure he liked to touch me, because it showed. He had more control of his shock magic, too, and could choose whether to make me tingle or not."

"And you're concerned that he might not be one of the intelligent races. A creature that knows that if he comes to the right place at the right time, there will be a hot elf lady who likes her nipples tingled getting naked for him. And he's seen that she gets excited, too, and if he does it right... " Clark let her think about that for moment before concluding. "Predicting a possible future outcome is proof of intelligence."

"You're right, I'm the one who's not so smart. I should never have taken advantage of him when he was smaller."

"I don't think you did. You said he liked doing it, too. And for all we know, he needed that training to develop into an adult male. Just accept him for what you've made him, and see how it works out."

Clark decided that he'd better let Randonil know what was going on in his guild hall. That meant a trip to Gweden in the morning.