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[Orig] Wish 07

And so, Wish Wednesday again, and we've come to the last of the twins for a few chapters.

Chapter 07: The Questions that Plague

The boy frowned as he pulled his clothing on. It consisted of a gauzy robe that resembled insect wings — of which he was unsure whether it was meant for modesty or warmth as it provided neither — and a tiny, stretchy, yellow piece of material in the shape of a triangle with strings extending from the edges. Joss had hated it when he was a child; he hated it even more now. At one point it had been too large for him, and then for a few short years it had been just right, and now it was much too small and hugged his vitals a little too snuggly. It was irritating that his twin beside him never seemed to have the problem with clothing that he did. She had already tied her yellow triangle into place, even had a little bow in the back where it was all kept together, and was donning the sheer robe even as he glared at her.

“She’ll get angry if we’re late, Joss,” his twin stated.

“Little matter if we’re late or early, she’ll get angry if she feels like it, Jocelyn,” he rejoined. For it was true. Emelette DragonRock was a finicky Dragon who had to be in control of every moment of every day and the very second she wasn’t all creatures big and small began to die.

Joss and Jocelyn Ackermyn had lived their entire lives in Emelette DragonRock’s Fortress — and yes, it was called exactly that, for by any other name Emelette wouldn’t be receiving the proper homage due her magnificence, or so she said, and quite often. It was never overly hot or cold in the fortress. Emelette made it snow whenever she felt like it, but the residents of the bastion were used to such displays.

The mountain never looked completely the same on the inside either. Emelette disliked monotony and often changed passages and rooms with a negligent flick of her hand. Many people got lost or misplaced indefinitely, but more always showed up, though no one knew from whence and did not ask. The fortress was not a beautiful place, though the walls did shimmer from the minerals that could be found in the mountain, and the floors were definitely creative. Emelette wasn’t very fond of things that were not cast from stone or ice. There wasn’t an abundance of cloth used in decorating the halls or clothing the people for that matter. There wasn’t an abundance of light either; what the sun didn’t supply Emelette didn’t provide. This was likely fine by her, because her Dragon ancestry allowed her to see in the dark and Emelette loved having an advantage over everyone.

There were very few aspects of Emelette that were likeable, if any. From what Joss could garner from the servants’ idle chatter and a few of the other people in the harem, she played the role of dictator to a village below. Apparently, fifteen years ago she’d collected tribute from that village in the form of him and his sister. It made him wonder if he had parents, and if so did they miss him? Did they try to keep him when Emelette’s lackeys had come? There was a lot he wanted to ask, and he was also fairly certain that he was the only one of the two of them who cared to know.

“Do you need help?” Jocelyn wondered and Joss realized he was still sitting naked on his chaise lounge in front of his mirror glaring at the yellow triangle as though it would shrivel into a pile of ash if he just focused his dislike hard enough.

“Sure, gods forbid we pause to think lest Emelette tells us to do so,” he muttered irritably. He stood and Jocelyn moved behind him to grab the strings as he held the triangle in place. She pulled the strings a bit. “Not so tight,” Joss grimaced as he tugged the crotch area. He shot a reproachful look over his shoulder.

Jocelyn’s pale brown eyes intercepted it and returned one of her own. “You’re so sensitive nowadays,” she complained. “What’s caught you in a blizzard?”

He couldn’t explain it to Jocelyn even if he knew exactly what was bothering him. Nor did he know the words to express it without angering her. His sister was Emelette’s favorite. The harem wasn’t full by any means. Emelette had a tendency to kill her lovers when they were no longer young and attractive. The oldest people in the harem were twenty-five and twenty-three respectively. They answered to the names Genipher and Mila; Emelette hadn’t liked their original names so she had changed them upon their arrival to the fortress. They were pretty girls, with straight platinum blonde tresses and very rare deep green eyes. One was very tall and willowy and the other had an overabundance of bosom. They were very sweet and biddable, which was likely why Emelette kept them around when she had murdered others of that age.

There was also a twenty year old boy, Ytali, who had stayed very thin, short, and graceful growing up. Though his body was chronologically older than Joss’s, Ytali belied that fact with his youthful face and petite features. Ytali appeared all of twelve, maybe thirteen if a person was feeling generous. His skin was like a dish of whipped cream, white and silky. His hair was a darker shade of blond than the girls’ and his eyes were a shiny sapphire hue shot through with lime green flecks. The eyes seemed to glow in his face like two beacons of blue flame.

The three of them had said they had all been brought up to Emelette’s Fortress together; the girls had been five and three; Ytali had been a delicate flower bud fresh from the field. There were two others, but they were only five, and stayed in the nursery on a lower level.

He and Jocelyn had been stolen from their home by the mountain after the trio. In complete contrast to everyone around them, their hair was very thick, curly, and an unheard of black as pitch. Their wide doe-shaped eyes were brown, a very pale sparkling color, with a circle of light blue around the iris. They looked disturbingly alike considering they were fraternal twins. The differences were only discernable in the slight squaring of Joss’s jaw and curviness of Jocelyn’s hips and chest. When they walked down the hall together or separate everyone stopped what they were doing and stared in a sort of stunned silence. Joss supposed that meant they were pretty too; if that weren’t the conclusion however, then it would have to mean that Emelette had deplorable taste in Human and their looks were merely unusual.

Of the five of them, each with their own particular brand of beauty and personalities, Jocelyn was the favorite and had been since they’d been brought up to the fortress a decade and a half ago. Jocelyn worshipped the ground Emelette treaded upon; she would likely lie down and be squished by one huge scaled foot if Emelette asked it of her. He likely wasn’t being fair in that assessment but Joss was beyond caring. Jocelyn was a pampered brat, who couldn’t see the mountains through the rocks. Emelette was evil, evil of the purest kind; even Mila, Genipher, and Ytali never disputed it. But his sister did protest Emelette’s character, spoke loudly in defense of her and never believed a single word that contradicted the image in her mind. Joss didn’t like it one bit. How could he even begin to express that he wanted to leave this place? How could he say that he wanted to find where home was and that he didn’t want to die when he was no longer attractive enough to be held in the Fortress?

Jocelyn didn’t believe for one moment that she could be replaced, but Joss understood that it was only a matter of time. In five years Genipher and Mila would likely be dead and there would be two or three babies to replace them. Joss remembered it had happened once before when they’d been children, somewhere between five and ten. There had been another male in the harem then, a very handsome man that had been extraordinarily charming. It was likely that very same charm that had kept him alive until he’d turned forty-one.

One day Emelette had just looked at him and asked herself a question. Joss didn’t remember what the question was, but he did recall that when Emelette couldn’t find a reasonable answer for her actions, she’d been furious and hurled fire at Jordan as though it were his fault. He’d been instantly reduced to ash. Joss had been terrified of Emelette ever since that day. It had since morphed from the sort of mind blowing horror he’d had as a child to a more refined, disgruntled sort of terror that came with familiarity on the subject. This is why he didn’t fret over the wrath of Emelette; he was — to a certain extent — immune to feeling fear. All she could do was kill him, and his wasn’t so glamorous an existence that it merited clinging to.

“I’m not the one in a blizzard,” Joss muttered the answer through tightened lips. He slipped his arms into the awaiting sheer, useless robe that Jocelyn held up for him. He turned and faced his twin, a serious expression in place of his previous irritation. “Jocelyn,” he began and then took a breath. “Would that when Emelette decides to kill me, are you going to step in?”

Jocelyn blinked at him in a way that Joss knew that his twin considered that question utterly preposterous. He knew what she would say before it even left her mouth. “You really aren’t at peak performance today, Joss. Emelette would never kill you.” The smile she presented was meant to be reassuring but instead looked very foolish on her face considering the topic.

Joss sighed, a little of his vexation reviving itself but not quite. He took another breath and dredged up more patience than he ordinarily would display. “That wasn’t the question, Jocelyn,” he pointed out.

The smile fell away, and Joss had to wonder if his sister was perhaps a little wiser to the situation than she consciously acknowledged. “Oh?” she queried, her voice was breathy and small, it sounded more like a statement.

“I’m asking if it comes down to my life or Emelette, who are you going to choose?”

Jocelyn fidgeted, the look on her face vaguely uncomfortable. “We’re going to be late,” she settled on whispering a moment later. She offered her hand; a gesture of peace and an invitation to put the issue behind them and move on.

There was a hint of apology in her eyes and Joss decided to let it go. Once upon a time, Jocelyn would never have hesitated over that question. “Then by all means.” He clasped hands with his sister and they proceeded from the sunlit harem, down the dark hallways.

Emelette's dining room was currently a floor below the harem. That would change in the coming days; Joss had little doubt, for it had been that way for at least a week now. There was a stone table in the center of the room that rose from the floor. It was long and rectangle in shape, Emelette would sit at the head, of course, and her favorite would sit by her side. The girls sat somewhere around the upper middle half and the boys sat at the end, far removed from the social setting. Servants scurried to and from the kitchen placing breakfast items before their master. There was a large window, more like a gaping hole in the wall that led to the outside behind the head of the table. The other mountaintops were visible; they appeared as jagged daggers that pierced the clouds.

Emelette stood facing the window in her Nomad form, hands on her hips. She was clad in her typical yellow scales. It was a form fitting outfit of pants and a vest, there were even boots to match. All of Emelette's clothing was made from her shed dragon skin, as were their own flimsy coverings. She turned at their entrance, white curls falling on purple tresses jostled in the movement. Her reptilian fuchsia eyes skipped over Joss completely and zeroed in on his twin. Her full mouth tilted upward in a smile. She lifted a hand and golden claws that served as fingernails glinted in the light. "My Jocelyn," she hissed. Her forked tongue slurred the name into Jo-oce-sssssslyn. His twin instantly released his hand in favor of rushing toward the one Emelette offered.

Joss did not take offence; he’d known she would do it and he assumed he was growing immunity to being thrown away. Joss supposed their captor was beautiful, he could even see where all the power at her command could indeed be addictive. He did not see the merit of hurting others for self gain however. He could not see where the sheer conceit of Emelette DragonRock could be found attractive either. Those destructive traits stripped her of being labeled as pretty to Joss's way of thinking. Her smiles turned to sneers, silken words to untreated cotton, and an embrace to a chokehold, due to the ugliness of her soul.

And yet Jocelyn could not see it.

He took a seat beside Ytali, who offered him one of his shy smiles. Joss couldn't stop himself from grinning giddily in return.

Ytali's smiles were soft and demure. When he aimed one at Joss, he couldn't help but feel peace and calm. Yet Ytali was also a walking contradiction. He sat at the table completely nude but for a collar of bells. He relied solely on his long blond hair for modesty. His body emitted a tantalizing scent that Joss could not place a name to; he could only acknowledge that Ytali smelled heavenly and that his body tingled in places whenever he was around Ytali. Joss admitted to himself quite often that Ytali was lovely. He understood what prompted Emelette to keep Ytali while he could not see why she kept one such as himself.

Joss got the distinct impression that Emelette did not care for males. He knew she liked looking at them as long at they were feminine in appearance like Ytali was. But as far as actually touching one, he could not recall ever seeing her do it. He reaffirmed this belief as he watched Emelette seat his sister on her lap; her hands toyed with the dark circles seen through the covering, kneading the plump flesh while Jocelyn's head lolled back over Emelette's shoulder. Joss shuddered and looked down at the empty spot before him. There was just something utterly abhorrent about the doughy mounds drooping from a female’s chest. It didn’t sit well with Joss’s stomach, and he couldn’t understand why Emelette found them so fascinating. Joss also didn't know who he had to thank for such a thing never happening to him but he was eternally grateful.

There were a lot of things that he just didn’t comprehend. Why had Emelette chosen him and his sister; or really why did she have a harem in the first place?

What did the outside world look like? He’d only ever seen the sky, the mountain tops, and the occasional flora depending upon where Emelette created a window in the rock.

What was the place they came from like? What did a village entail?

What made a person a mother? More specifically who was their mother? He knew the term, knew he had one because he’d heard a servant say that all Humans had mothers, but what exactly was a mother supposed to do?

Where did babies come from? Emelette came back with one or two or three irregularly so he supposed getting a hold of one was a bit like growing flowers; you just waited for one to bloom and then plucked it, but what if he was wrong?

Better yet where exactly did all the servants come from? Who would willingly work for Emelette?

Why was Emelette a Dragon; why wasn’t everybody? Why could she shape rock with her thoughts? Why was she such a horrible being? Why couldn’t Jocelyn see her ugliness?

Why did Ytali smell so sweet? Why did he want to embrace him? Why did his body react to Ytali and not to Genipher or Mila? What caused his body to react in the first place?

Would he leave Emelette’s Fortress alive? What do you do when you’re dead anyway?

“You’re floating,” Ytali whispered directly into his ear. His breath as well as his husky voice sent gooseflesh racing through his spine. Joss swallowed and felt as though he could feel the saliva on its journey down to pool in his stomach. He shifted uncomfortably and cursed Jocelyn for indeed making his clothing a little too tight.

“I am dizzy from looking at you,” Joss stated, his voice a whisper also. Emelette had bionic hearing and though she was otherwise occupied he didn’t want to risk her hearing their conversation; it had nothing to do with her.

Embarrassed, Ytali ducked his head, allowing his hair to briefly shield his face. “I’m told I have that effect on a lot of people. Here, I’ll apologize.” Ytali reached up and turned Joss’s head to face him before depositing a kiss on his lips. It was quick but Joss’s body tingled at the contact. Bells jingling alerted him to the fact that Ytali felt much the same way.

“Apology accepted,” Joss murmured. Ytali’s face was still high in color but his eyes were anything but modest as they raked over Joss’s form.

“In all honesty I can’t take full credit for dizziness this time,” Ytali admitted. He inclined his head to the top of the table where Emelette had stripped Jocelyn of her meager coverings. “She doesn’t smell right. She hasn’t smelled the same as always for the past two days now.”

“You can tell?” Joss wondered. Emelette had always smelled a little like burnt wood, the wind and even a hint of flowers due to her perfume.

Ytali nodded. “Her scent clashes with my scent and their combinations make other people dizzy.”

“So ‘tis partially your fault?” Joss deduced.

“Thus the kiss,” Ytali answered, pertly mimicking Joss’s speech patterns.

“But ‘tis partially not your fault.”

“But I still wanted to kiss you,” Ytali proclaimed unrepentantly. The look on his young face was positively devilish. A moan from up the table drew their attention briefly. “We should go. They’ll have to serve breakfast in the harem with the way they are carrying on.” Joss allowed Ytali to take his hand and lead him from the dining room.

He did not look back.


I guess here is where i beg for confirmation that the story is making sense thus far? Smaller chunks help? You like Joss and Jocelyn better than Micah and Sabel as far as dysfunctional siblings go? You just like reading but have nothing more critical to say? I'll take it.