“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”


Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
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MARIUS

Scene 19

Wolves circled the castle staying inside the forest on familiar tracks their family pack had traveled for generations. The smell of blood and fear was everywhere. Stress filtered through the woods on a willowing breeze. The pungent odor of humans made the pack anxious and alert. Rolf’s breath was rapid and shallow. He felt an awful thirst and waited.

Rolf’s older brother led the way to the back of the castle, and they waited until no sign of human could be seen or scented. The group darted across the open estate keeping in the low ground between the hillocks that surrounded their den. They ran straight through a small opening in the wall shielded by two cedar trees with branches hugging the ground.

✽ ✽ ✽

Marius waited outside the study of Count Răzvan. Anger and indignation coursed through him and tightened his fists at his side. Hate welled up in him, constricting his throat, focusing his mind, and setting the stage for the inevitable bloody confrontation with those who dare such an insult to the people of the Wolf.

“The Count will see you now, Sir.” The Count’s aide de camp motioned for him to enter.

The study was as dark as the mood Marius felt. The room light’s were dimmed, and only the sunlight filtering through the window illuminated the Count’s desk and the green writing pad where commerce was inked into profits. The Count was only partially standing in the filtered sunlight, and the strong shadows half hid his face and eyes providing Marius with a formidable view of his master. No evidence of his benevolence was apparent in the dark shades of his eyes.

“What do you know of the Duchess’ shooting?”

“I know she was shot and her would be assassin is dead,” Marius replied.

“Pity.”

“Pity, my Lord?” Marius struggled to control the vitriol in his voice.

“Yes, I would have liked to question him,” the Count said with the even tone of someone discussing business ventures instead of life and death.

“Ah, yes. Our enemies become quite chatty in your presence, my Lord.”  Marius saw the Count smile under the eyes that shouted death in their unfathomable darkness.

“Our Duchess is in the castle infirmary. The doctors say she has a deep gash on the right side of her head. They suspect a brain bleed and swelling could result, so they have placed her in a shallow coma to keep her still and out of pain.” The Count explained. He walked out of the shadow to a sidebar, took out two glasses, and poured a brandy for each of them. Marius moved closer and accepted the offering. It was customary to share a drink over essential matters, and the Count did not ignore the customs of the Society of Wolves.

The Count’s eyes bore into Marius as they gave a silent toast to their future hunting successes. “Tell me what actions you’ve taken,” the Count asked.

“I’ve had the body of the assassin taken to the morgue for DNA testing and to see if what’s left of his clothes and any items on his person hold any clues to his identity. He was a professional. I expect little more than what the DNA will tell us. However, I do have his rifle and ammunition he used. We’ll check serial numbers and analyze what we can to find the origins and movements of the tools of his trade.” Marius briefed the Count in that emotionless cadence intelligence officers universally possess.

“How long will this take?” The Count asked.

“Six weeks, approximately,” came Marius’ answer.

“What are your plans in the interim?”

“We will continue to look for clues that will uncover the chain of events. There are people we will uncover that will tell us the next step up the chain,” Marius assured the Count.

“And if they don’t talk?” Asked the Count.

“Then the wolves will grow fat for the winter, my Lord.”

“Leave no stone unturned. Suspect everyone until you know they are not part of this plot to destroy our rebound from obscurity,” The Count demanded.

“As you command, my Lord.”

“One more thing, my faithful friend. We’ll do everything covertly. We will announce that a poacher’s errant shot frightened the Duchess and such was the realization of his mistake that he fled and has not been found. We’ll give our enemies a smoke screen to blind them while we cut down the low hanging fruit on the way to the top.”

“Yes, my Lord. With pleasure.” Marius met the Count’s grin with his own sardonic smile.

“You need not kill everyone. Only the ones you think need killing.” The Count signaled the discussion was over by turning his back to Marius and setting down his empty glass.

“My pleasure to serve, my Lord,” Marius replied while setting his glass next to the Count’s in a noble gesture of solidarity, duty, and service to the Society of the Wolves and the Society’s aristocracy.

Marius left the study and acknowledged the aid de camp as if to say, it is done. He made his way through the labyrinthine castle to the sub-basement where the medical facilities were. In the Duchess Drăgana’s darkened room, he ran out the nurses and doctor attending her.

Dear gods, he thought. Her face was swollen and purple. Dried blood still matted her hair. He pulled down the covers and gazed at the athletic body laid down by the avarice and power hungry outsiders. He noted Alexandra had no other injuries other than some bruising from her fall off the platform. He placed his hand on her sternum and felt her shallow respiration, her warmth, and beating heart.

Marius closed his eyes and felt the energy of his revenant Duchess. He leaned down and spoke in her ear as his hand slid intimately up to her neck in a gentle hug. “I pledge my life, my sword, my men to you. Those that would harm you are destined to the belly of my wolves.” He rose and saw the fingers of Alexandra’s hand flex. The thumb rose above a clenched fist.

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71 thoughts on “The Agony of Ecstasy-Scene 19

    1. Hi Namirea! Yes, the count is furious and off with their heads would be a nice balm for sore nerves; however, the Count knows that quiet correction raises no alarms. I too am interested to see how this all plays out. 🤔

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    1. You are soooo right, Kymber. Alexandra is a fighter at heart and she doesn’t take rude behavior towards her lightly. Thank you so much and I do hope to ramp it up into a page turning frenzy when it all breaks loose.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A fist! The Duchess shall return. ❤ I told my mother about this story and she said she’s been reading Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult, where one of the characters, an animal conservationist, lives with a pack of wolves in the Canadian wild. She gets so excited about her books she’ll forget and spoil the plot for me before I get a chance to read. :p Eagerly heading to the next scene!

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    1. YES! The Duchess is no lightweight to give in to a mere grazing bullet. I look for her to return more determined than ever. It’s a good thing that bad guy succumbed to the wolves. Alexandra is going to be mad and he wouldn’t stand a chance to her arse whoopin’ skills. I have to read Lone Wolf now. I can picture that excited conversation with your mom.

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  2. You are the Jack London of the wild wolves…you know their emotions, feelings and fears as well as you know those of Marius’s…who is now hell bent with sexual lust and revenge…the two passionate emotions becoming one with this character. You have an uncanny talent for bringing me into the moment…when I read this story, I am soon running with wolves and dancing with Knives! Bravo my good man, Bravo! Keep it going. May all your enemies find their way into the belly of the wolves! (I may borrow that phrase…I love it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesomeness abounds tonight Bro. I would truly be happy if I could channel me some Jack London. I am definitely leaning toward the wolves. They just fit so nicely into the story. Marius must find an outlet for his anger and lust which are often one in the same for him. He won’t wait long and his female of choice may be a surprise, especially when we learn her sexual desires only Marius can satisfy. Ah, those Japanese knots tied in intricate patterns and the agonizingly slow approaches to ecstasy are the dreams of which we speak in hushed tones.

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  3. Stepping on a limb here, trying to be helpful… you know, doing my attendant part…
    grammar: “confrontation with those that dare such an insult” [those who dare?]
    grammar: ” The light’s were off, and only the light filtering” [the lights were off?]
    typo? “…this plot to destroy or rebound from obscurity,”: [our rebound?]
    grammar: We’ll give our enemy a smoke screen to blind them while…” [our enemy is singular, so it’s “him” not them or make it ‘enemies’ and leave ‘them’.]

    Wonderful continuation to the story – I’m captivated now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Next year or sooner, I’ll be looking for an editor. Too soon now though. I must get the story out, that’s the priority. I had one kind blogger actually edit my blog posts and put them on GoogleDocs for me. Yes, it was instructional, but yes, it was much too early since I don’t even know what I’m going to keep. I had another blogger that was so insulting in his attempts to “teach me” that I banned him as a spammer. (Yes, you know who he is…) Just sayin’. And we’re so glad you joined the “I’m writing a Novel Club” here on WP!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I use google docs exclusively to write and publish each scene. Then I move everything to Scrivener for final development to a finished manuscript. I like google docs because it lets me create, revise, and edit in a basic way from home or anywhere inspiration strikes. I have been posting my agony of Ecstasy scenes with minimal editing or revisision because otherwise, nothing would ever get posted because I’d be constantly churning the text. Still, I like posting with less grammatical errors than the last chapter. I finally am several scenes ahead which gives me more time to find those little Easter eggs of word doom. I am also very happy to have Sha’Tara join the fold. With so many great minds here, how could we go wrong with our take over the world plan. Or was it take over the universe? Well, no sense in short sheeting ourselves.

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        1. Wow! Technologically I must be a few steps behind…I simply write, edit and post from a Word Doc. Having Sha on board with her Novel fires me up, and I’ve given myself a Thursday deadline to post the next installment. I’ve been distracted by all the external commotion…time to get back to my purpose!!

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Two chapters of sibaru kinbaku sex are complete so the next two weeks are covered. Depending on the level of repulsion and or masturbatory delight, I’ll do a third scene before continuing on. Not to mislead my dear readers with gratuitous titillation, a significant clue is revealed that will impact the story.

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. I’m thinking each wednesday with the first scene out this coming Wednesday. Then you have a lot of time to get in there and get titillated. Well, I hope it’s gratuitously titillating. It might have an opposite effect, but we’ll see. Just gotta whip it out and see how it fits.

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    2. Ah, your grammar attendance is first rate. All great finds which shall magically appear in their corrected form before sun up. Thank you very much Sha’Tara. I firmly believe editing is best done with four eyes and two brains, one of which actually knows proper grammar. I think we have that winning combo here. 😁😃 it’s a blessing to wade through all that word poo and still find the total effort worth while. You and George are pros and my daddy always said to learn from the best.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. True, I’ve realized that revising and editing is the true sport of writing. Getting the first draft down is the art part and then the real work begins. Having help with that hard part is essential. Our little literary kingdom is coming together in good form.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. In my humble opinion, without getting the story finished, they’ll be nothing to edit. Yes, editing is critical, but the creation of the story dominates my consciousness. Old mantra worth repeating: “A shitty first draft is better than no first draft.” So let us go forth in 2019 like the literary three musketeers we evolved into: All for one and one for all!

          Liked by 2 people

    1. You have done justice to my dream as it unfolds in the WordPress library. Your appreciation is all that’s required to keep me pushing as hard as I know how to bring this story of dark history and its inextricable course of humanity to the light. Thank you so much, Rene.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you so much. You do get it in a deep way. Not everyone gets that innate part of who we are, but for those that do, this is for them. We have always sought to serve strong leaders, land to live on and the battle to take that land. Our darkness enables us, our love continues us, and religions of every sort try to tame the beast by exercising control on that part of our psyche the king leaves untouched. I believe we are magnificent beasts capable of finding a noble path through the arts, architecture, music, dance, and literature. We make fierce battle and exquisite theater. We’ll see a little of all of that in this epic tale.

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                1. LOL! A worthy friend indeed. Every self respecting werewolf adores the chance to explore the enlightenment of a wordly world with a knowledgeable Vampirette friend. An exquisitely happy and productive New Year to you as well. 🧛‍♀️🐺🌞

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. 😎 you won’t be disappointed. I do believe this will be a good year for mindscapes. I can feel it in the unsettled fresh air today. I’m enjoying the Carpathians at the moment. My dear cousin who taught me everything she could about writerly things is publishing her novel about Vlad Dracula’s younger brother who eschews the Prince of Darknesses messy lifestyle for one a bit more romantic. Naturally, this all takes place in the Carpathians as well. It seems we think alike on many things. So, the agony of ecsatsy continues unabated.

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