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Lady Astra of House Crysomark slowly walked among the clustered groups of government officials, business professionals, and other members of the aristocracy. Annoyed, tired, and basically bored, she decided to meditate by walking the labyrinth that House Fulton had provided tonight as part of the entertainment for this banquet. The hall within the house was beautifully decorated in various colored tapestries, flowers, and other plants that gave a true, luxurious atmosphere of serenity. Too bad she didn’t feel serene inside.
She hadn’t wanted to come tonight, but her best friend, Pillar, had sent the invitation. Then her father had found out and, after two huge arguments, she gave in. Their personality conflict had heightened recently with the family business problems as well as their private problems. Her father seemed to have gotten worse with being lord of House Crysomark, forgetting that he was only the head of the House until certain requirements were fulfilled. I don’t want to be head of the House. Father enjoys the position too much, to the detriment of the House of late, but what more can I do? Mother would agree with me, but in the end, who else can handle this family or even the issues surrounding our business?
The night sky sparkled with stars and the pale light of the dual moons, Tareth and Verun. Kissing the curled fingers of her left hand, she placed them on her heart and then her forehead before lifting her hand in a sign of respect to the moons and the gods they represented. Various groupings, couples, and singles meandered through the gardens of House Fulton, the House’s power coming from the gardens and nurseries they owned.
Walking the labyrinth, though not simple, was worth the effort of gaining control of her emotions. She felt like she was being pulled so many ways, pleasing everyone but herself. Granted, sometimes her work was wonderful, especially in helping right wrongs, but in other ways, she felt so alone. Being one of only a handful of class-ten empaths meant she was never completely alone, or alone with anyone of her own choosing. Too many restrictions ruled her life — including her sex life.
Taking a right turn, following the dimly lit path as it curved beneath a willow tree, she enjoyed the fragrances that filled the air, the scents of the night orchids, the jasmine, as well as the sounds of the insects scurrying to taste the sweet nectar of the night blooms. Astra smiled and let go of a bit of tension as she continued her walk through the spirals.
Voices carrying over the next set of tall hedges piqued her interest. It seemed to be a minor argument or something. Opening her shields, she directed her empathic ability toward the sounds and was stunned to feel a wash of lust, desire, and something else clinging to the words. Following the voices, she turned the corner; the sight before her had her clenching and unclenching her hands as emotions flooded through her.
She stood unmoving, her heart clamoring and the tingling sensation of desire pooling in her breasts and her pussy. What she was looking at was forbidden to those of her station, but it didn’t stop the desire. Nor did it stop her from watching the scene before her. Her eyes widened as she watched twin males, Devon and Garth of the House Polgarde, tease a lady from House Geldar as she lay naked, tied down to ground stakes, her genitals exposed to any and all who walked the back path in the labyrinth. Astra shivered at the thought of her being in such an open position.