Chapter Four

A Patreon exclusive story by Meraki P. Lyhne 

 

Matadon mashed his face against the window of the chopper to look ahead, but he had trouble seeing anything but the mountain range that he knew housed the Cubi people now.

Bowdon chuckled and leaned in. “We’ll circle, don’t worry. We always do that to make sure you get to see it.”

Matadon grinned excitedly, but looking at the inside of the huge clopper made one thing clear. Those with a window seat got to see it. At that moment, Matadon felt selfish and happy that he had a window seat, and he stretched again to get a glimpse as soon as possible.

Finally, they crossed the river, and Matadon could see the sun hit windows to cast the light back. A big window caught a beam and gleamed like a diamond. Fitting for the House that held their King.

His throat closed up from emotions and pride that they finally had a Royal. And his son was their King’s friend. It caused two different kinds of pride to well up in him, along with hunger for his Royal’s attention.

The chopper circled the mountain peak, letting him see everything. They were so high up that he couldn’t see the plateau at the foot of the mountain as anything but, yet it was obvious that it was an occupied place because colors stood out in a blurry mess.

The chopper turned and returned, giving those with window seats on the other side of the chopper a look, too, and Matadon saw that he was not alone in getting emotional at the sight of the new House.

He’d somewhat felt the same when he’d gone with Geodin to her mother’s House. Back then, they’d walked through the forest, and the House had been small. The military had later brought in machinery to drill the inside tubes for elevators, and all sixty-four shafts had taken a long time. That’s when they’d maxed out.

Matadon felt excited about exploring this Grand House as the chopper landed and powered down, while they all got out of their seatbelts and stuff.

Bowdon put an arm around Matadon as they left the chopper and guided him toward a small group of people standing at the bottom of a wide set of iron stairs, leading to a door into the mountain. “Your bag will be brought to the apartment, unless you need something in it urgently.”

“I don’t, thank you.”

Bowdon merely gave a sharp nod and focused on getting Matadon to the band of people.

Matadon eagerly sought out the faces to find his son, but he apparently didn’t know his appearance well enough to spot him. “Where’s Aaron? I can’t see him.”

“On our King’s suggestion, Aaron is in the apartment, waiting for you there. Our King’s parents will greet you.”

Matadon wondered why, yet if the King…best friend to Aaron, had suggested an alternative, he figured it best to heed the advice—especially since he knew both young Cubi had come to the House in the same manner. Ignorant of their genetics.

“Lord Roardon, Susan. This is Lord Matadon, father to Aaron.”

The face of the Lord stood out, and Matadon grinned. “I remember you, Rado-Nol Roardon.” Matadon shook the Lord’s hand. “We went to procreate together.”

“We did, yes.” Lord Roardon grinned. “And you stuck out at Halloween.”

“Well, you got to her first.” Matadon looked at the human woman they’d both had an eye for that evening. He bowed his head. “Tami-Nol.” She was pregnant, making Matadon wonder. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you,” both parents of the King said.

Wow. They’ve mated?

“My meeting with Beaudon didn’t go very well the first time, so he suggested we come and pick you up,” Lord Roardon said. “Also, to give Aaron a sense of security from being home when he meets you.”

“Is it because of his human dad?” Matadon looked at Susan. “Was it like that for Nol-Beaudon, too?”

“Yes and no. There’s more to that story. One I know I’m not allowed to disclose.”

“One you will hear in private, my Lord,” Bowdon said.

“Yes, Guard Lord.”

“My son had no idea when we met,” Lord Roardon said. “Luckily, Aaron does. And no, he’s not close to his human father.” Lord Roardon indicated for the door, and they followed the line of others up and into a huge cavern.

Matadon looked around, fascinated, finding busses to one side waiting. More stairs, and they went into a hallway. Everything seemed more natural than the clear-cut hallways in the Great House of Dahlidin. The Grand House of Beaudon seemed a maze of more organic tunnels instead of the mirrored but identically laid out network of the old House.

They walked a long corridor that stretched across the mountain with windows to one side and doors to the other. What Matadon had seen, it was like that on many floors, making him wonder what was behind the doors to that side. They’d have to be dark rooms.

“Aaron left with Beaudon during the great escape,” Lord Roardon continued. “His mother didn’t take that too well, and his human dad has been out of the picture for many years. Aaron needs a stable parent who sticks around. We figured it important to warn you about that without him hearing it.”

“Thank you, My Lord.” That news caused Matadon pain, but he certainly wanted to spend as much time with his son as possible, so he didn’t see a problem with that.

“We’ll be here for questions,” Susan said. Her smile gave Matadon comfort, and he appreciated that people who knew his son would help ease the way.

“Do you live with our King, too?” Matadon asked.

“No, we have our own place five minutes away.”

“Oh, be advised that Aaron is…very lose with titles within his home. He calls Nol-Beaudon Daniel.”

“All his friends do,” Guard Lord Bowdon added. “Especially the humans he invites to learn how to raise the cooperation and thus energies for us to feed on.”

“Yeah.” Roardon grinned. “Pure energy. It’s chased like never before here.”

They crossed a hall where he found a human symbol. Matadon pointed at it. “I remember reading about that.”

The three chuckled.

“Our Tunra-Nol, lover of Nol-Beaudon, took charge on this and asked the Grand Council whether he could start a quiet revolution to see our King’s vision through.” Lord Bowdon grinned, shaking his head. “Being the Tunra Lord, he was given the green light, so he…vandalized the halls.”

“It’s been wildly productive,” Lord Roardon revealed.

“We no longer use the terms breeders or feeders. We say humans.” Bowdon looked at Matadon. “And they come up with the best ideas. Seriously, I’m happy to be home because here, I need to feed less because it’s so pure.”

Matadon felt his brows slowly climb his forehead, taking his mind back to the receptionist he’d massaged the day before. And the maid turning down his bed. After having her fun with freaking out about sex demons and getting fucked silly on the bed. Yeah, that had been fun and pure.

But it was a Cubi rest stop, and humans there were usually not the ones newly taken in to feed the many like in the old House.

Matadon had heard a lot about the revolution, but it didn’t touch the Cubi in exile after the attack on the Great House. Now he’d get a chance to see all his King was doing to later spread to the rest of the Kingdom.

Some places needed it way more than others, and the housing Matadon had helped Lady NAME run certainly did.

The muffled sound of screaming grew closer, and Matadon stopped to listen, glancing at Bowdon to see what a Guard Lord thought of that. He then recognized the shrill tone as that of excited children.

“That would be the playground,” Susan said.

A grin spread on Matadon’s face. “The pirate ship?”

“The one and only.” Roardon looked proud. “I helped build it.”

“I saw some of the footage from that game. Man, it was easy to recognize Ela—Nol-Elakdon in his true element.”

“You were close with the old King of North, huh?”

“Yeah.” Matadon remembered his time in that House with great joy.

“He’s a great guy,” Susan said.

They rounded another bend into an even broader hallway, yet this one had signs hanging from the uneven ceiling. Feeding pads. Matadon had read about those and couldn’t wait to go explore them.

A familiar face stood out. Esdon.

Please, don’t see me, please, don’t see me, please, don’t see me.

But he had no idea where they were going, so he couldn’t run ahead, and stepping behind the Guard Lord to hide seemed a childish option.

Unfortunately, the Sire saw him and changed directions.

“Lord Matadon. In the House.”

“Sire Esdon.” Matadon wouldn’t say more, even though he could hear the disdain even though Esdon smiled.

“First time in the Grand House?”

“Yes. I just arrived.”

“Being a Lord with responsibility does keep you, I guess.”

“It does.” Matadon clenched and unclenched his left hand while pocketing his right. He wished Esdon would just leave, but he’d not be petty, so he answered with basic respect. He’d spent a lot of time mediating between frustrated Cubi since they’d had to flee the Great House of Dahlidin, and he would not stoop to the levels he’d tried to raise others from.

“Too bad you return just after our Royal has left. Can’t occupy that bed, then.”

Matadon refused to comment on that envy. “I’m here to visit my son. We’re running late.”

“Oh? I’d have thought you were here to see the Grand Lady.”

“I hopefully will.” Matadon barely managed to relax his jaw enough to not sneer that through clenched teeth.

Bowdon held up his loosely fisted hand with the black ring, then stretched his index finger at Esdon. “You have somewhere else to be now, Sire. We are running late. As stated.”

“Yes, Guard Lord.” Esdon left, looking sour, and Matadon stewed, figuring he probably hadn’t managed to suppress the sneering enough, considering the Guard Lord had stepped in.

Roardon looked at the back of the Sire, walking away, fast. “Friend of yours, My Lord?”

“He was once. Then he turned bitter.”

A guttural grunt of annoyance escaped Bowdon, but he tried for a smile. Hangry again? Matadon didn’t know.

Roardon began walking again, and Matadon followed, happy to get away from the guy.

“Do I need to know something?” Lord Bowdon asked quietly.

“I don’t think so. We were friends when red and blue-eyed. Then I earned an old King’s attention and rose to Sire before him.”

“And that irritates him because…”

“He enjoys status. He feels entitled.”

Bowdon nodded once, looking grim.

Finally, a sign indicated that a hallway forking off to the right led to the Royal apartment. Two big doors showed up to the right on the curved hallway that continued—probably back to the main hallway they’d walked on. Two Guards shimmied into visibility, nodding their heads at them.

Bowdon opened the door and let them all inside, then closed the door again.

Matadon looked around in the bright hallway. It had a chandelier hanging from the high beveled ceiling.

A gorgeous black-haired feeder came in, smiling.

“This is Butler Alex,” Lord Bowdon introduced. “Anything you need, ask him.”

“Yes, Guard Lord.”

“Welcome, My Lord. We usually leave shoes here because the House is often occupied by children, playing on the floor.”

Good reason. “Yes, Sir.” Matadon pulled his shoes off and placed them on the shelves along with the others. Everything looked so orderly, so the butler had things under control.

Finally being at his destination, though, Matadon’s emotions were rising, and he noticed his hand shook as he placed his shoes. Any moment now, his son could round a corner, and they’d be face to face for the first time ever. He loved all the pictures he’d seen, but they could never do a person justice. Also, chemistry. It was impossible to sense through anything but actual interaction.

“Shall we?” Lord Roardon asked. Matadon took a deep breath, which came out shaky, but he nodded. “We’ll stay, don’t worry.” Lord Roardon gave Matadon’s shoulder a reaffirming squeeze, which Matadon appreciated.

He followed them further into the apartment, and natural light flowed around the wall where the hallway opened up into a big living room.

And there, on a white crescent leather couch sat his son. He was so beautiful.

Aaron looked up, then stood, wiping a hand on his pants. Matadon noticed because it was a nervous tick they shared. “Hi.”

Matadon smiled. “Hi.” It came out a croak at best. Get moving! Matadon stepped forward and held out his hand. “Matadon.”

“Aaron.” Aaron shook his hand, and Matadon locked away the feel of his son as a marker in his mind. He wanted to hug him. He wants to look at him. Study him. Seek out every little detail to guess at the years he missed. Smell him, feel him. “This is my friend, Freydon.”

The young man stood and held out his hand. “My Lord. I’m Nol-Beaudon’s nephew.”

“Pleased to meet you, Freydon.”

And awkward silence followed.

“How was your trip?” Aaron asked. He seemed relieved that he’d remembered something to ask about, and Matadon appreciated the breaking of silence.

“It was long. The helicopter ride was something, though.”

“Yeah. They’re big.”

Matadon chuckled, nodding. “I’ve never been much for traveling, yet I like going places. Which makes no sense.”

Aaron chuckled. “No, I think I get it. The trip back and forth? Hate it. Being there? That works.”

“Exactly!”

“You arrived just before lunch, but…do you need to go feed?”

“No, I had a very pure maid this morning.”

Aaron grinned. “Fantastic.” He looked off, and Matadon followed his gaze. A doorway to what could look like a kitchen. “You wanna…join us anyway?”

“Absolutely.” Matadon followed Aaron, noticing that Roardon and Susan had stuck around but sat at a small table with armchairs under a big painting by the wall to the hallway.

He hadn’t noticed that painting and almost stopped short. It was a portrait of their King, clad in gold, and he had one human green and one golden eye. Their King looked stunningly beautiful and regal.

“Yeah, even as vain as Daniel has always been, that still freaks him out.” Aaron went ahead.

Matadon followed, grinning. “I sense it was a gift?”

“It was a birthday present. A Cubus painted it from the portrait that was taken after the coronation,” Lord Roardon said.

“I of course suggested he could hang it at our place if he feels stared down by himself,” Susan said. She seemed quite sneaky. Matadon appreciated her humor, but he could totally see the need from a parental standpoint.

Matadon had frames with his kids and grandkids out, and he couldn’t wait to get his luggage to put them up. Once he was shown his room, at least. They calmed him down and were always the first he found a place for when getting a place. He hoped to soon have one of Aaron to add to the collection.

They entered the kitchen, where the butler was putting the final pieces of food on the table, while other naked humans roamed around and got other stuff ready. Buffet for the eyes.

“I’m really glad feeders haven’t been covered up during all the changes as beautiful as you are,” Matadon said, looking at Alex.

Alex bit his lip and looked…troubled. Why would he?

“Humans,” Aaron corrected.

Matadon could have facepalmed himself and managed to stop himself just short of it. Instead, he rubbed his face. “I’m sorry. I know we don’t say feeder anymore. Here. It’s new, and it takes time for the changes of a Royal to ripple through a spread-out people. Forgive me?”

“I understand.” The young man offered a smile. “I’m an Incubus, though.”

Matadon studied the butler, reading the classification tattoo. Passive receiver of pleasure from men. “I’m sorry. The tat kinda threw me.”

“It’ll be removed soon. Once the equipment arrives. I’m a Natural Beauty.”

Matadon blinked. “And water’s wet.”

“What?” Alex looked at him, puzzled.

Matadon grinned. “You’re naturally beautiful, that’s more than obvious.”

Aaron chuckled. “A Natural Beauty is what Dan—Nol-Beaudon calls those his dose can change to Incubus.”

Matadon snapped his head around to look at his son. “He can what?”

“My lover is Cubus born,” Alex said. “Sir Kaydon of the North Kingdom. He got hurt in the attack in Baltimore, and to make him heal faster, the Royals dosed him heavily, but I’m one of the few who can let him go all in, fucking me.”

Aaron sat back, wide-eyed. “Seriously, he can hip-thrust a hole in a brick wall.”

That description seemed familiar, and Matadon remembered a video snippet of a huge piece of Incubus that Nol-Elakdon had been quite excited about at a summer fest. He’d looked fierce and dominating during the King’s games, and he’d laid out the old King from an empowerment. Which was why his name was worthy of being remembered. “Ofbrad? Kaydon Ofbrad?”

“Yeah.” Alex looked up, smiling. Fondness for the big Viking danced his eyes.

“Holy shit. And the Natural Beauty thing?”

“Well, I got dosed by a Royal, too, and then I changed,” Alex said. “It’s apparently the gene being almost washed out, yet a Royal dose can awaken it. Dan—Beaudon is collecting as many as he can to fill our ranks again.”

Matadon smiled at Alex and put a hand on his shoulder. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I’ve been told that a lot has changed, and I need to learn. Forgive me if my tired brain messes up. I can’t feed on you, though.”

“Oh, I get it. The revolution is ongoing in the House of Beaudon, but in fun ways.”

“Revolution?” Was there more to it than the Tunra-Nol vandalizing hallways? “How so?”

“Well.” Aaron stood to sit on his foot on the high stool. He looked excited about something, and Matadon’s heart leaped at finding such light in his son’s eyes. “Tunra-Nol and I have led point on a few things. Tunra-Nol vandalized the halls with a marker, scratching out all feeder symbols, putting down human instead, and I initiated a massive dance off in all the hallways on Halloween, which was the next day or something. It was epic.”

A dance off? Wow, Matadon would have loved being there for that. “Sounds like it.”

“Part of the revolution started by my son being collected,” Roardon said. “That’s how he came to the House of Dahlidin. As an Untouchable.”

Well, that was new. “Oh, wow.”

“Getting that insight into our ways is…why he focuses so hard on raising two people to live as one.” Roardon looked proud as hell, and Matadon would be, too, of course. He already was because his son was helping out with something that important. By dancing. “The silent revolution is mainly carried out by our King being tentative toward both Cubi and humans.”

“It makes this House fun.” Alex indicated for the dining table, and they all sat. The humans began to eat, while the non-eating Cubi had a beverage. “There are usually always a lot of people at this table.”

Matadon looked around at the humans and Cubi there. They were close to twenty, half being human. One of the women smelled nice. Not that he was hungry after that morning. Also, he still had plans to seduce Guard Lord Bowdon, who’d left them as soon as they found Aaron.

Seriously, getting that Guard Lord into his bed seemed to have become a goal of his. Dammit. When something got stuck in his brain like that, he’d pursue it until he went nuts or succeeded. Usually, he succeeded.

Matadon mainly listened in on conversations, noticing Aaron kept glancing his way. He noticed because he kept glancing at his son, wanting to stare at him instead. But that would be weird.

Chatter circled all sorts of subjects, and some made no sense because Matadon had no idea what was going on in the House, other than what he’d been reading in the new newspaper. He loved that. When he’d had the time to read it.

He paid special attention when Aaron and Freydon talked about a dance recital, but apparently, the young King had stormed off, and he had a special spot in that choreography. Up next? Brainstorming new ideas.

Recognizing passion at the level of his own made Matadon smile at the table, trying to avoid staring too much and give the cubs their time to chat. But Aaron apparently had it, too. That…I want it, I’ll get it mentality.

Natural Beauties came up. With what he’d just heard about after insulting their butler, he paid attention, looking up.

Aaron noticed. “We go talk to them. Daniel asked us to. To help them…”

“Acclimatize,” Freydon finished.

Aaron nodded sharply. “That’s the word.”

“By sharing your passion?” Matadon asked.

Aaron smiled and nodded, but something dimmed in his eyes. “But first I…I think I—we should…you know. Talk.”

Matadon chuckled, hoping the dimming excitement in his son’s eyes wasn’t caused by the thought of that talk. “If you want, I could just tag along and, I dunno, help?”

“No, no. What would you like to do?”

“Seriously? See the whole House with you as a guide. Every Cubus out there is excited to rotate here and see what our King is building, and I know someone who knows him well enough to know his vision. I mean, nothing beats that. Outside the King himself showing someone around, of course.” Matadon’s excitement boiled over, and he didn’t even try to put a lid on it. “But honestly, he’d be my second choice to be shown around by because what I really want is to know your vision for your future in this House, too.”

Aaron smiled, and that fire was back in his eyes. “I’ll definitely show you around. In fact, I have something awesome to show you.”

“Let’s start there.”

“No, let’s finish there because I don’t think we go anywhere after that.”

“For sure,” Freydon said.

That comment upped Matadon’s excitement.

“You could space it out, Aaron,” Roardon suggested. “Showing off the whole House of Beaudon takes a long time, too.”

“You’re right. Especially since I haven’t been everywhere.”

“Dawdon has,” Freydon said.

Aaron gaped at him. “He has, hasn’t he.” Aaron grinned goofily, which suited him well.

“Please polish off the eggs,” Alex said.

A human got to it, emptying the container of scrambled eggs. They all then rose and left the table.

“Do you want to go explore now?” Aaron asked. He then looked around Matadon and smiled. “Hey, Grand Lady.”

Matadon spun, finding his old friend, Geodin, standing in the door, grinning, looking as stunning as ever. “Geo!”

She extended her arms for a hug, and Matadon went to her. “Welcome home,” she whispered.

“Thank you.” Matadon hugged her a bit tighter, happy to see that she was thriving.

Geodin finally pulled back and looked at him, then kisses him on the mouth. But not just their usual hello kiss. No, she added hungry passion, and Matadon felt so at home kissing someone whose mouth he knew so well. They’d always had great feeding when she empowered him, and he looked forward to the unspoken promise in her kiss.

“Miss me, I see,” Matadon said, flashing a cheeky grin.

“Oh, yeah.”

“You two know each other, I take it,” Aaron said.

Matadon chuckled at the humor in his son’s tone.

“We do.” Geodin smiled. “Your father was in my harem when I was strengthened to become a Grand Lady.”

Matadon turned to see Aaron, putting his arm around Geodin’s waist. “So much feeding.”

“And now is the perfect time for you to tell him, Aaron.”

Aaron looked puzzled. “Tell him what?”

“That our King has claimed you to become a Fountain.”

Matadon gasped. That news punched him in the gut, and his brain sought out all he knew of Fountains, which was a lot, considering he’d been a harem Master.

Roardon pulled out a highchair, grabbed Matadon, and pulled him to sit on it.

Good plan.

Aaron looked around. “That’s a bigger thing than I think then.”

“It is.” Geodin grinned, glancing at Matadon.

Matadon looked at Aaron. “That’s going to be insanely difficult for you, and I’ll be powerless to help you with anything but the insight I got from helping Geodin.”

“I see how the other Fountains are fucked. I don’t have a Kaydon or—”

“You’re not empowered yet. You don’t know what you’ll feed on.”

“True.” Aaron turned his glass, absentmindedly, staring at it.

“Any hopes?”

A small smile flickered.

“Would be a useless answer now, I see.”

Aaron looked up at Geodin’s comment. “Why’s that?”

“You look in love.”

Matadon really wished he knew his son’s expressions enough to gauge something like that, but it didn’t surprise him that Geodin did. She had an eye.

“Dawdon. I’m falling for Dawdon.”

“Oh, finally!”

Matadon snickered at Geodin’s comment and Aaron’s gaping expression. “She sees stuff like that from ten miles away and usually a year before we notice.”

“Well, exaggerations do bring home the point, huh.” Geodin stepped up and draped an arm over Matadon’s shoulder.

“If the shoe fits…” Matadon shrugged.

“I do have an eye.” Geodin looked at Aaron. “And Dawdon certainly has an eye for you, too.”

Aaron blushed. That was so cute.

The name stuck out to Matadon. “Wait…the one who knows all of the House?”

“Our cub reporter and photographer,” Geodin said. “They’re the masterminds behind the new newspaper.”

“Oh! This is new, I take it?” Matadon looked at his son. “Your feelings, I mean.”

“Yeah, we…kinda figured out yesterday that there’s something more.”

“You should definitely call him and have him help you show me around, then.”

“Perfect outing,” Geodin said. “I just came by to ask one question, and then I’ll leave you two to get to know each other.” She looked at Matadon. “When were you last empowered, Matty?”

“By you.”

Her face fell. “That’s a long time, then. Please spend the night with me, no matter how late it fits your plans with Aaron.”

“I will, thank you. I’ll hopefully know where you live by then.”

“If not, I’m sure a Guard Lord or Lady will show you.”

Matadon’s thoughts immediately went to Bowdon. He needed more time alone with that guy to figure out how to seduce him.

Geodin chuckled. “I’ll see you later, Matty. You obviously have other things on your mind, and I understand.” She kissed him on the lips again, then left.

Matadon smiled, happy to have his best friend back so close. And he loved that she knew his son so well, too. Looking at Aaron, they didn’t resemble each other that much, so he could see why she hadn’t connected the dots of who’d fathered the Halfling. But Aaron had called her Grand Lady, and he was said not to be very good with using titles at home.

Matadon would postpone thoughts on that for later. First, he had an outing with his son and potential lover.