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Subject: Makarovia, Chapter 4 Makarovia at Last Story: Makarovia? Where the Hell Is That!? Chapter 4 Makarovia at Last Author: Eric McQueen ail) Adult Readers, Sexual Situations, Sex Freedom of expression is precious. To do that Nifty needs help. Your donation is greatly desired. Give to fty/ or this story ends and all the others! That would be a crime! Anderson Cooper’s interview and they complete the semester. Eric goes to Makarovia! Makarovia at Last “Good evening. I’m Anderson Cooper.” Anderson said to the camera. “You are watching this because you heard or saw reports that a very unique marriage is in the works as a member of a royal family, a prince is marrying a man from the United States. I will introduce you.” He waved to Peter, who sat on the couch next to me. “This is Prince Petro Ivanov of Makarovia.” He nodded to Peter. “I want to thank you for letting me in to give this…” Anderson gave a sort of shrug as he couldn’t explain it any other way, “…situation a voice. You are a prince.” Peter nodded. “I am.” “Beside him is Eric Richards who is an American.” I nodded. “Born and raised.” “On the other side of Prince Petro sits his mother, Queen Alla Ivanov of Makarovia who…” Anderson smiled, “tells me, not only do you not object to this marriage but support your son’s choice in marriage.” Queen Alla nodded with a smile. “I most certainly do.” Hearing her speak English, I heard the accent like Peter had. “My son loves Eric. Why would I object to my son’s choice in who he loves?” Anderson nodded. “I agree, but…most people are surprised hearing this. Marriage for those of us who want this with someone the same gender was a hard-won victory to even have that right. It wasn’t until the turn of this century did the idea of a woman marrying a woman…a man marrying a man was accepted.” He waved at Peter and me. “But saying that a member of a royal family…that’s very…unusual; you two will be the first in known history.” He smiled. “So, let me start with…and just to get this out of the way. There is a growing international military presence consisting of several nations growing in Makarovia. Do you know what that’s about?” Peter nodded smiling. “We do, my brother King Olek will be telling about that on Friday.” Anderson nodded. “Okay, moving on…” he grinned. “How did you two meet?” “We attend the same university.” Peter took my hand smiling. “It was because they feared my use of the English language would lack…some ability to translate, that we were assigned to the same project.” “And that’s another question!” Anderson said. “How does an American boy…raised in the South, manage to speak Makarovian!?” He asked incredibly. “Fluently!” “My grandmother,” I answered. “She was raised in Kiev in Ukraine. She danced with the Bolshoi in Moscow until she defected to the United States. She spoke Russian and Ukrainian. She and my mother insisted I learn to as well. Except for some words and pronunciation is a little different with some words, it’s basically the same language.” “That almost sounds like it was planned,” Anderson said. I smiled. “Who’s to say it wasn’t?” “Makarovia stands alone in their approach to differences in human nature where it comes to this sort of relationship,” Anderson said. Queen Alla gave a tilt of her head. “It’s not that different, nor is it perverse or deviant. When there are love and respect, it’s what we’re made to do; find someone to spend our lives with. It’s simply part of being human. You spend five minutes with Peter and Eric and that is more than evident.” She smiled. “When I met Peter’s father, King Olek the first, his country’s view of the world was just one of the reasons I was glad to be a part of Makarovia.” She leveled a look at Anderson. “The real concern about this in royal families is the successful birth of future rulers. There are more ways now to see that it happens. The fact is future leaders were bred, raised and educated in times where that was difficult. That isn’t a concern now. Peter found someone to share his life with.” She shrugged. “Choosing someone that is equally raised is not the deciding factor now. I know Eric will be a good addition to Makarovia. That choice should not be because of beliefs, race or even gender.” Anderson was nodding the whole time Queen Alla spoke and his smile grew the more he heard. “Eric is going to a prince, right?” Anderson asked both Queen Alla and Peter. Peter nodded and took my hand. “He will be.” Anderson nodded again. “It’s just never been done.” “Now, it is.” Queen Alla said simply. The discussion went briefly to my family’s history and Peter’s history. I was very pleased to see…whatever Peter had felt before the interview, was gone. Now sat a confident, smart, and articulate man…no pauses to gather his thoughts…no “ums” or “wells.” Peter knew what he needed to say and didn’t retreat once! At the end, some plans for Makarovia were discussed. Anderson did what he said. He talked more about the marriage and future plans, but less about the gay aspect. He did allude to the fact that I was American, a commoner, and an outsider; the gay aspect was just one issue that made our upcoming marriage noteworthy and controversial. “Now, we’ve all been told about this first in history,” Anderson said. He leaned forward and stuck his hand out to us. “Thank you again…for letting me be the one to tell this amazing event about to happen.” He smiled. “I know there’s something very big happening in Makarovia that has nothing to do with this marriage. I know things are going to be good for you. Good wishes to both of you in the future.” Peter nodded. “Thank you.” He leaned in and kissed me. “It will be very good.” He hugged me to his side as he smiled. We all saw the red light go out. All of us, including Anderson, sighed when that happened. Anderson nodded appreciatively. “And we’re done.” He stood up and smiled. “That was a great interview. I look forward to hearing more.” I was pleased to see Peter was smiling. His mother, however, was smiling bigger and hugged Peter. “You were fantastic!” She said kissing Peter on the cheek. “I don’t need to know how or why, but you were perfect!” She said hugging her son again. Peter smiled a bit bashful. “That was pretty nice.” Then I realized Penelope Baldwin was still here. “Ms. Baldwin! I’m sorry, I forgot you were here!” She nodded smiling. “And that’s the way I will always be. I assist and don’t intrude.” “I’ll say.” I nodded. “You’ve been great!” Peter nodded in agreement. “Go home, Ms. Baldwin. Thank you.” “That’s why I’m here. Trust me, there will be plenty of requests to sort through in the morning.” She chuckled and cocked her head. “And could you call me Penny?” “Sure…Penny.” Peter smiled and turned to me. “Now, if you’ll all excuse us. I want to spend some time with my future husband.” He took my hand. “Excuse us.” Up in our room, he closed the door by pressing me against it as he gave me a smoldering kiss as his hands came up and around me. “Now, to keep my promise.” He said as he began pulling on my shirt to get it out of my pants and at the same time he was pulling on my belt to get rid of that as well. “The only promise I will ever hold you to…” I said as he went from my lips to my neck and began to nibble and kiss sending volts of lightning through me. “You promise to always love me?” Peter grabbed me and moved us back to the bed. “I promise.” “I will hold you to that,” I said enjoying the sensations but brought his face up to kiss him one long moment. “I will always love you.” He grinned. “You promise?” “Oh, yes!” I promised as he pulled my pants down and slowly gave me what I gave him right before the interview. Damn, he was good. Whatever he was dealing with, he was suddenly…passionate! The man was on fire! He and I enjoyed a good sex life, but NOW!!! I don’t know how many times I came, I lost count for him. We started out on the bed, then in the shower and then the bed again. He did insist I do what I loved and did what he loved. Finally, we climaxed together one last time, but we’d done it so often that night, there was nothing to come out, hardly. We were left panting to catch our breaths. “Damn,” I said hoarsely, rolling back nearly out of breath holding my head against the swirling dizziness. It wasn’t uncomfortable, it was very satisfying. “That…” I said, “…was…intense.” I propped up looking down at him as he smiled nodding. “What just happened to you!?” He looked a little…he didn’t know? “We were…with that…Anderson guy.” He shook his head. “I just…had this urge…I needed you right then. I wanted you so badly.” I smiled kissing him. “I’m always going to be with you, you can have me whenever you want.” I chuckled and looked at his grey-green eyes. “Sex is never bad with you, but that was over the top!” I put my nose to his chest hairs and down into his armpit, which he didn’t mind at all. He even moved so I would have better access. “Okay.” Peter smiled. “I don’t care, but what is it that you get by doing this?” “You,” I said simply. “Me.” He repeated. “I’m sort of sweaty.” I nodded. “That’s when it’s the strongest,” I explained. “I want to take as much of you into me as possible. You have a distinct odor.” “Not a bad odor, obviously.” He said logically. “No. It’s just you.” “Okay.” He smiled. “Knock yourself out.” He said raising his arms up to give me a choice. “One more thing.” He said with a tone of seriousness. “You know I need you.” I nodded. “I hope so.” “I never felt so…confident as I did tonight.” He kissed me. “That’s because of you.” “I’ll be here whenever you need me.” In the morning, I came down to see Queen Alla sitting enjoying her coffee. She was a real queen. Dressed in a nice robe and her hair done, she smiled at me, her eyes were telling me she knew what happened last night. “Good morning.” She greeted putting her coffee down. “I trust you two got some sleep last night.” Yes, she knew. I looked at her surprised. “Were we too loud?” She shook her head. “No.” She took a breath. “My son…” she thought carefully and said, “…is very sensitive.” Then she laughed lightly. “I’m not telling you something you don’t know. You know him better than anyone…even me.” She said a little sadly. “I don’t…” I began to defend against that. “No!” She smiled. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.” She said simply. “The two of you chose to be that one person in each other’s lives.” She said. “It was for me and his father. I knew him better than anyone…except maybe his first wife.” She smiled at the memory. “There were times…I would be jealous sometimes of her…but she bore him Olek. She was a Russian woman like me.” “I love one that’s mostly Russian.” I smiled. “We are all mostly Russian.” Queen Alla said. “Peter’s great-great-grandmother fell in love with a Russian Nobleman.” She leaned in. “She asked him to marry her.” She said nodding as my eyes grew. “That was sort of brazen.” “For the time…maybe…but she was Queen.” Queen Alla said. “But she did it. That’s why the last name is Ivanov.” She explained. “He agreed to marry her if she took his name.” She said. “My Olek, Olek the first, was also very sensitive. The reason I bring it up…my Olek became…” she again thought of a way to say it, “not dependent, but…he needed me. I see that Peter needs you just like his father needed me.” She looked again to the heavens. “When he got this acne…it was just one more thing after his father’s death to drive him into himself. What I saw last night!” She shook her head. “He really needs you.” I frowned. “He’s a grown, very capable man, but…I don’t want to baby him too much.” “I know.” She smiled. “My Olek was that way, too. I know Peter’s success at the interview was because of you.” “I promised Peter, and I will assure you; I will always be with him,” I said. “He’s very happy.” She smiled at me. “He has that love in life at last. That’s what I’ve always wanted for him.” She said pulling me over and kissing me on the cheek. Queen Alla and I backed away from each other when Peter walked in and froze. “Okay, were you both talking about me?” “Yes, we were.” His mother answered simply. “But you’re not allowed to ask about what.” I smiled at Peter. “I’m learning a lot about this family. I’m glad you invited me in it.” “Okay,” Peter said coming over kissing his mother on the cheek. “How long are you staying, Mom?” “I have to leave tomorrow.” She sighed. “I’m talking with some people about some medical support for Makarovia. In time, we’ll have the money to improve medical coverage…until then…we have to have people willing to do it.” “Aren’t mezitli escort the military coming in bringing their own medical people?” I asked. She nodded. “Yes, for them.” She shook her head. “But more serious cases that occur are simply flown out. We need people for our people.” Peter shrugged. “Well, we’ll spend the day with you. Take you to lunch or anywhere you want to go.” “Don’t you have school today?” She asked a little worried. “One day without all those lectures…we’ll be fine.” Peter said a little sourly. “It’s cold out.” Queen Alla let out a short breath to say, big deal. “It’s cold in Makarovia. I’m used to it. We can do lunch, but it might be better to stay here after that.” It was later that we came home; going in our room there was the soft chime again. “Olek,” Peter said going to the computer. He read the message and looked at his watch. “He wants a video call tonight at eight.” “Sounds good,” I said pulling my jacket off, but Peter smiled, rushed at me and I was tackled on the bed. He began kissing me in a consuming, almost devouring way. I said before…even to Peter, he was like this flower opening. We’d been together a few months now, but…we became intimate in October. I knew him and I love him, but…I really liked this side of Peter. He was…playful! His mother had said, his father was like Peter and Olek the first relied on her. I would do the same for Peter. Gladly. Saying we loved each other was…just part of what we did together. I couldn’t ignore what was happening. He was growing more secure with me. I would not let him down. I arms went up his back, loving the solid feel of him, his warmth that radiated from him. Dinner was good, but a little early because of Olek’s call. At eight sharp, we let Olek know we were ready. A couple of minutes later, Olek’s smiling face came on the screen. “Hello, brothers.” Peter chuckled. “Hello, Olek.” “I saw what you did yesterday.” He said smiling, then he shrugged. “Okay, I recorded it to watch later, but I watched it! That was sensational!” “All we did was talk about our upcoming wedding.” Peter shrugged. “No.” Olek shook his head. “That’s not all you did. You were strong and assertive. You answered the questions well. You didn’t back down! You presented Makarovia very positively; our stance and philosophies…you made a good first impression.” “We did?” Peter asked. “We brought the world’s attention to Makarovia!” I said to Peter. Olek nodded quickly. “Yes! Until now, the only ones that even knew about us were some of the world’s leaders…and some of them didn’t even know who we were. Now, everyone on the entire planet practically knows where we are and what we are about; because of you two!” He said happily and did what he always did moving closer to the camera so his face grew on our end. “I want you to know, little brother…how proud I am of you. You showed the world we are a proud people and has solid leadership.” His eyes got a little softer. “I know a lot has to do with this magnificent person you have in your life. I was always proud of you, Peter, but…last night. You were amazing. Never again do I want you to say or think that you aren’t needed or useful. Your mother, me and Eric are now ambassadors for the world for Makarovia. So, when I say I was proud, I was, but I was never so proud as I was with that interview. I love you, Peter.” I watched as Peter smiled, but he was moved so much by his brother’s words. “You’re my brother. You are most definitely needed by a whole population in Makarovia. I know they saw that broadcast, too. All of Makarovia is proud of you.” He chuckled. “I just had to tell you.” I took Peter’s hand when I saw moisture in his grey-green eyes. “Thanks, Olek. I love you, too.” Then, in very unlike king breech of protocol, Olek stretched and let out a yawn. I chuckled. “Where are you now?” Olek grimaced again. “Berlin, but I’m going back to Makarovia tomorrow. I have a kingdom to run, as well as all this.” He stated. “Most of the negotiations are done now. It’s back to business at home.” He brightened. “How are things going with the new web page?” “I got the Dean of the College, Thomas Sutton getting things ready,” I said. “We’ll be bringing a few photographers with us at the end of May.” I looked at Olek. “Are there pictures of your mother available?” Olek nodded. “Sure.” He said sadly. “When I get back, I’ll forward some to you.” He sighed. “She died when I was young, so…I remember mostly feelings about her.” “She raised you.” I pointed out. “She must have been a good woman.” “What I do remember…she was,” Olek smiled at me. “You are very needed, too, Eric. I can’t tell you how glad I am you’re joining us. I love you, too.” He smiled. “Just love my brother.” “I do and will.” Olek nodded. “I know you do and will.” Peter smiled at me as the call ended. “I guess I didn’t understand the interview’s significance.” He shrugged. “I didn’t until Olek reminded us,” I said, then laughed at the other realization. “I haven’t even been to Makarovia yet. Your mother said it was cold.” Peter smiled and nodded. “It is in the winter; often minus twenty degrees below freezing at night. We are in the mountains.” He shrugged. “We will be there in spring. It will be cool at night, but it will be warm in summer.” He turned to me. “It is beautiful in summer.” I nodded. “Minus twenty degrees in Celsius is not much different in Fahrenheit!” I gave a shrugging nod at hearing that. “That’s cold.” Peter grinned edging closer. “There are many ways to stay warm there.” He said kissing me behind my right ear. “One I will look forward to…with you.” He said as his lips moved over my sensitive skin there. I smiled enjoying his affection. “Are you a little cold now?” He chuckled. “We can always warm each other up.” My fingers went into his hair. “Let’s do that.” I pushed back. “I’m feeling a chill.” Actually quite the opposite, but any excuse worked for us. The next morning, we bid Queen Alla good-bye telling her we’d see each other again at the end of May. Her flight was commercial this time and she was being driven by one of the men helping keep our home secure. We went to the university and began our week. Midterms were coming up and the stressors of what happened with Makarovia, Peter’s and my wedding and approaching midterms was a lot. Some stressors weren’t really necessary and not just from the paparazzi or students. Professors, as smart as they are supposed to be…or were supposed to be, were just as…bad as some people were. I got to the dining area first and began studying a little waiting for Peter. It was now…just a day for most of the other students. They came and got a meal, walking past no longer just staring at me or my security. I studied geometry. Math. I hate math. I was looking over the theorems we were being tested at the beginning of the next week. That’s when I heard or rather felt books laid down a little heavier than usual. Looking up in surprise, Peter sat down blowing a breath in…frustration? Disgust? Both? He looked over at me. “Hi.” He said not really happy at whatever. Then, like he never did; he was preoccupied with whatever it was. He leaned in and kissed me. A peck! An afterthought!? I was not letting that one go. I looked at him puzzled. “I’ll ask about this…whatever in a second, but first…let’s try that again.” I grinned, grabbing his collar, and brought him into a kiss like we normally did…with feeling. “Hi, baby.” Peter grinned and his eyes softened. “Sorry.” He said kissing me again. “Hi.” “No problem,” I said running a hand over his face. “I don’t need to tell you what to do now, do I?” He sat back sighing. “It was my Sociology professor. He was passing out what was being expected to be covered on the upcoming exams.” He frowned. “He says to me…” and he did a pretty good impression of the mousy little professor, “I hope you don’t expect favoritism in light of this new status you have.” Even I was bothered by that. “I guess he expects a certain entitlement from you now.” “Why!?” “Well, has he ever had dinner with the President or interviewed by Anderson Cooper? You have.” I asked. “What did you do?” “I merely told him…my status is not new; I’ve always been who and what I am…I hope that your new knowledge of the status I always had won’t affect how you graded me. I expect to be graded as before, not better…or worse. I mean, he’s been grading me for half the semester not knowing! Now because he knows my status, I’m now expecting favoritism!?” I shrugged and smiled. “That was a great response,” I said squeezing his hand. “I’d like to think it was just ignorance he was speaking from, but what he said was just stupid. He knew better.” “He is…” he transferred to English as he said, “…dickhead.” Perfectly. I laughed out loud at him. “Okay, who did you hear that from? I don’t think I’ve ever used that with you.” Peter grinned, his grey-green eyes sparkling. “Ted Dawe.” He said. “He’s in a couple of my classes.” I nodded. “We are so articulate…Southerners.” Peter chuckled. I kept in touch with my grandmother, but normally by email with the occasional call about once or twice a month. On that Wednesday following the Anderson Cooper interview, after classes and we were home, I smiled as my phone rang and saw her face on my caller ID. I touched her face and said: “Hi, Grandma,” I said casually. Peter looked over smiling. “Hello yourself, or do I say Your Highness now?” Grandma teased. “You’re moving up the world.” She said, and as she always did, spoke Ukrainian. She insisted I learn it and spoke only that to me. Ukrainian and Makarovian were basically the same, so Peter knew what I would say. “Now, Grandma, you were the one that cautioned me about the ramifications of a relationship with Peter. Remember?” “I remember.” She chuckled. “Do you have a date for the wedding?” I looked back at Peter. “Do we have a wedding date?” Peter looked up from his studies and his eyes widened as he thought. “No, not really, but I will say it will probably be next spring. Mom will probably tell us that.” “It will be in Makarovia.” I said to confirm. “Absolutely.” Peter nodded. “Of course, she’s coming, right? We’ll pay for it.” “I heard that,” Grandma said. “I intend to be there, there is no choice. My grandson is marrying someone he loves. My place will be there. Is there a chance I can see you before you go?” “Can we go to North Carolina?” I asked Peter. Peter smiled. “We could…” he said, “but she might do better to come here. If we go, there will be several people with us.” He pointed out. “Come up here,” I said to her. “We have room.” “How about next weekend, if that’s no trouble?” “Stay a week or two!” I said. “I have a life here, honey. I still work. A nice long weekend is fine.” Grandma laughed. Then she added seriously. “I’m so happy for you. He’s a good man.” I grinned looking at Peter’s puzzled face. “Yes, he is. We’ll see you next weekend.” I turned back. “We’re booking this!” “I’m not arguing!” She laughed. “Flying into Logan isn’t cheap!” Then she said again softer, serious. “I love you, baby.” I smiled. “I love you, too, grandma.” Ending the phone call, I smiled at Peter. “Katrina Sams will be on the way!!” “Yay,” Peter said and he tried to put enthusiasm in it, but she was my grandmother. It was on Friday. King Olek was in Makarovia, and this time…the TV broadcast was coming from there. We had to hurry home to hear the broadcast live. It was nearly five in the afternoon on the east coast, but eleven at night in Makarovia. The reasoning was most of Europe had an invested interest, so the broadcast needed to be more convenient for them. While it wasn’t like a visit from a president or something, there was an interest by the world as to why there were so many militaries in this little, often forgotten country. Peter and I gathered in what we had as a den/media room, so Yuri, Boris and anyone else that worked with us could see the broadcast on the big screen. There were a few cameras as Olek approached a podium. Dressed in a nice suit, he stood proudly. He spoke in English, again sort of accented, but understandable. Most of the nations that supported Makarovia spoke English. Translations in other languages were going to be by each country as the broadcast was showing. Olek cleared his throat and began. “There has been much talk about the increased military presence in Makarovia.” Olek said smiling as the flashes of camera bulbs for stills came. “I am pleased to tell you why that is now. A little more than ten years ago, a discovery was made; a discovery that pozcu escort will change Makarovia and many parts of the world as a whole. For the last five years, I and Queen Alla have worked with many more developed nations around the world to help us extract this new discovery. Beneath Makarovia lies a rich and sizable deposit of uranium.” His eyes sort of narrowed as he said. “It is beneath our ground and belongs to Makarovia. With the help of the United States, England, France, Germany, and other nations, the extraction of this resource will begin in a few weeks. The processing of the uranium will also…eventually, be done here in Makarovia. As it is our resource, I tell you now; the uranium taken from us will be used, and contracted not to use, to create weapons, but provide power for homes, industry, hospitals, and business in places where needed. Responsible use and care must be done. The military is here to ensure that all comply with the peaceful and careful extraction of Makarovia’s uranium.” He smiled. “There is much to celebrate in Makarovia. This new source of income for Makarovia…the upcoming marriage of my brother Peter and Eric Richards just added icing to this wonderful cake of upcoming events. I plead with all that hear me. In the past, there were those that came to Makarovia thinking what we had, they deserved. I can’t say that there is no resentment, but Makarovia and its people were frequently used and tossed away. We became a refuge, a sanctuary, for the many souls that other countries decided were unwelcome and unwanted, but steps have been taken place to be sure, no one is taking what is clearly ours. We will share with you, but I would think seriously about any incursion into Makarovia. This will be a good thing. Let’s work together to help it stay that way.” Olek smiled, but his eyes showed, he was very serious. He bowed slightly. “Thank you.” Peter sighed as he sat back. “Well, as you Americans say…” and he said in English, “…the cat is out of the bag now.” I nodded and looked at Peter. “Do we say that? I don’t think I ever have. Ted Dawe must have taught you that along with dickhead.” He smiled, but he was thinking seriously. “Things may also become more dangerous,” Peter said feeling the gravity of the upcoming situation. “There are many angry people out there. People who will think that threatening one of us…or my brother or mother…will get them what they want.” I shrugged. “That is always the case. We’ve had two terrorist attacks in New York and the attacks in England and other cities…” I looked at the men here to protect us now. “These men are doing well. We should trust them to do their job.” I got closer to Peter. “They’re American.” Peter’s eyes widened, but then he laughed. “Well, I love this American.” He confessed kissing me. I wasn’t stupid. He needed to know that I knew what those threats could be. “And there are those who might be upset with us,” I said, he needed to know that. “Us!? You and me?” “Sure.” I nodded. “I remember…I read when the President…or whatever he is in Iran…Ahmadinejad…was questioned at a university in the United States; he was asked about Gay Rights. His reply was there were no homosexuals in his country.” Peter’s eyes widened. “How did they manage that!? We’re everywhere!” I shrugged. “They can deny it, but you’re right. We are everywhere.” I said. “Everyone there laughed at him…he often talks about God and science…but all he’s done was spew hate.” I shook my head. “He’s not alone. Our own Vice-President has a history of that.” I smiled. “What we’ve done, baby…is take what was hidden and in the back room and displayed it proudly. We told the world we were getting married, for love. We’re not going somewhere private to do what they think is immoral and wrong. You are a leader. Your brother is a king! He not only didn’t object, but he also loves us. Your mother went on national television and not only supported us but told everyone she encouraged it.” Peter shook his head. “I don’t understand it.” He said distressed. He nodded at me and held his hand up to stop me. “I know…I’m innocent…all because I can’t see a problem. What’s wrong with the fact I love you?” “You’re not supposed to love me.” I shrugged. “They think that’s impossible and unnatural. Your mother said it; we’re not perverse or deviant.” “Crimes involving sex aren’t done by us!” Peter objected. “No, it’s done by criminals who identify as straight most of the time. Pedophiles, rapists are usually just…people; they have issues, but should be punished. Not necessarily gay.” I nodded. “I’m on your side. There are those that don’t see us as being just human, that is the crime; they see what we do as being…not only against the law of the land but the laws of nature!” I smiled. “But we are now known by a great many, so targeting us wouldn’t be a good idea as we see many who don’t care who we love.” “But they may want to make a point.” He nodded. I gave a shrugging nod. “They could do that…it’s been done for a lot of reasons. It won’t be because of us.” Midterms are done and we waited at Logan Airport for Grandma’s plane to unload. My grandmother finally arrived from the throngs of people getting off various flights. She was the only living relative I had now; if I didn’t count Peter, Olek and Queen Alla. Seeing her always gave me a warm feeling. Dressed immaculately for colder weather with a fur hat (it seemed to be the trend in East and Northern Europe), but still stood straight and her walk was precise. She is always a ballerina. Seeing us, she had a bright smile on her face instantly, came and hugged me. “Hello, Darling!” She greeted hugging me hard, which could be pretty hard. She was a strong woman! “Hi, Grandma.” She looked over and grabbed Peter. “Hello, Peter.” She hugged him as hard as she did me kissing him on the cheek. “You’re my darling, too.” Then she noticed two of the men in the dark suits behind us. “Well, you did tell everyone. I guess that’s part of those ramifications I warned you about.” I nodded. “They are why it is easier for you to come here.” I shrugged. “There are more in the car.” Peter smiled. “Even more at home.” Grandmother looked at me. “How are you adjusting?” I smiled. “I’m fine.” The weekend began well. My grandmother loved where we lived, but was always watching the many people that were around doing…things. It was the following day when the doorbell rang. I knew who it was as I planned this, so I told Boris I’d get the door. Opening it, Carla Bowers, my former landlord was smiling at me, but then was looking at the men by the door, inside of course. It was cold outside! “I was happy you called me,” She said entering, but still looking at the men who weren’t moving. “I hope there were no hard feelings about what happ…” I hugged her. “None at all; don’t worry about that,” I said. “It’s perfectly understandable.” I waved at one of the men. “Otherwise, you’d have them at your front door.” Then I stage whispered. “I don’t think they can even talk!” She laughed as she walked in and looked around. “Well, I couldn’t offer you this.” She stated the obvious. “I loved that apartment!” I said smiling, “and Peter felt more at home there than here.” “Is that..?” My grandmother’s voice came as she walked quickly in the foyer. My grandmother was in her seventies, Carla was in her sixties, but suddenly they were just two little girls! There were two loud squeals as the two old friends were reunited, hugging each other, and talking all at once! Grandmother told Carla she swore she was going to come by and Carla said how nice grandma looked and hadn’t really changed…it was chaos, but they understood each other. Peter walked in slower and stood behind me as they were still at it. “They aren’t speaking English,” Peter said to me. “I can’t understand a word of what they’re saying.” I chuckled. “No, they’re speaking a very unique form of English…Old Friends.” I grinned enjoying my grandmother and Carla’s happiness. I took his hand. “They’re using a special dialect for girls.” I led him from the room so the friends could talk. Later, after Carla said she had to go…which I didn’t get, she owned the apartment building and her life there. We again visited with my grandmother, had a good meal. She swore again she’d be at the wedding. We took her back to the airport and saw her off. I was pleased with the work I was shown on the web page for Makarovia. It was much more inviting. I was also happy they included photos Olek had sent of his mother. While she wasn’t like Queen Alla, she was pretty and Olek’s father loved her. I was surprised to see a picture of me! I was in that tux and at the White House with Peter. The caption even said I was “Future Prince Eric Richards of Makarovia.” I smiled. They’d have to change that when I took Peter’s name, but it was a nice picture. Life at the university remained the same. People were still clamoring for interviews and talk show appearances which Penny handled and let us know about. The semester was finally coming to a close. Now, it was time to get ready to go to Makarovia. I packed as did Peter. I was excited to see where my new home was, not that we were leaving Boston. We both had a few more years at the university and would be back, but I was going to see the new home for me…a home I was sharing with Peter. Peter walked up to me as I watched my suitcase being carried by Yuri. “This is it.” He smiled. “We’re off to Makarovia.” The flight to Makarovia was…lengthy. This trip was on a private plane again. There were three students chosen from Northeastern going with us. Two guys and one girl, but I was told they were very good photographers. They knew each other, of course, and were talking amongst themselves and seemed pleased to be going. One refueling stop and we were airborne again. It wasn’t too long after the refueling before Peter smiled; looking out the window and turned to me. “We’re now flying over Makarovia.” He said and sighed contently. He was home. I had seen some images of Makarovia, but…looking out the window…it was a very mountainous country. The mountains were not like the ones in North Carolina. They were darker, sharper. I’ll try to convey what I saw. The mountains were dark rock and dirt, in between the crevasses where trees and forests spread out from there over flatter land. There were houses scattered here and there were with the occasional farms nestled in wherever there was available land to plant on. We were lowering and passing over clusters of buildings making up villages. The one resource they used was the stones and rocks, which was the main thing all the houses were constructed with. The houses also looked like the mountains, dark. A circular approach we circled a town! This was a sizable town that was built out of necessity. The need for a house, you built one where there was land. In many ways, it was like this part of the world could be any time period. There was color here as some houses of Stryia were painted and some even had festive roofs of red. There was little evidence this was the twenty-first century except for the cars, otherwise, it could be hundreds of years in the past. The river was flowing through the middle of town. The largest structure was the large, brown stone structure that towered over everything that stood on the precipice near the river. It was not the beautiful castles in other parts of Europe. Clearly, it was a fortress; hardly any windows on the tall structure on the lower levels to prevent any invaders from taking control. Back before guns and more modern forms of warfare, they used arrows, swords, and spears. An arrow shot might reach the top, but the hard stone would block penetration and the windows there were small to prevent as many arrows as they could from getting through. The palace just said one thing. Keep out! It looked strong and built for defense. What it lacked in appearance; it was practical with purpose. Then I smiled, Stryia didn’t have the skyscrapers or metal and glass buildings. Nothing below was more than two or three stories tall. Also, what they were missing were the billboards and tacky signs promoting a business or something like a cola or something. Except for an occasional gas station, and those weren’t those sprawling stores that sold everything including gas. Very little of modern times reflected in Stryia; there was no mall, no large structure surrounded by acres of parking spaces. I wondered how they got supplies. I looked at Peter. “Where do you get a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk?” I asked him. Peter gave a escort bayan grudging nod. “We have stores.” He said a little defensive. “They are scattered throughout Stryia.” I smiled and took his hand, placing our foreheads together. “Remember what I said to you before? About my world and your world. Now, we’re in our world. Now, you will be my life partner…helping me.” I kissed him. “I will become used to it, with your help.” He smiled and nodded. “Sure.” He looked out the window as we lowered even more. “Now you know why I’d never been to a mall or even Walmart.” He shrugged. “There isn’t one.” “With so many changes coming…” I began as we neared the paved runway. “Will that change?” Peter nodded. “I hope so.” I waved out the window. “But Stryia is charming as it is! We can’t change it too much.” Peter again gave a shrugging nod. “We’ll just have to find a good middle ground.” With the increase of population, I feared it would have to change. We got out of the plane at a small airport and the temperature wasn’t bad, in the mid-sixties…or rather in the mid-twenties in Celsius. I had to retrain myself on that. It was midday now. It rarely got over 85 degrees…there I did it again…rarely over 30 degrees Celsius even in July. One small building that looked as if it had been converted and expanded as an airport. I got the impression that not many flights came and left here. The runway was a single strip of pavement. Then I noticed the first…modern structure; a covered hangar. The only plane was stored here. “There’s a bigger airport in Skoal…” Peter said, again a little defensive. I turned him to look at me. “You don’t have to be ashamed of what isn’t here, Peter,” I said again. “This isn’t a big metropolis, I get that.” I got him to look at me. “I like what I’ve seen. It’s like…a window back in time. It’s like a storybook village. Show me more!” Peter smiled more. “You’ll see it all, I promise” Getting in an SUV, we were taken in a couple of cars through the town. The streets were…well…until a few decades ago, mostly horse-drawn carriages were traveling these streets. Cars and trucks came about fifty or sixty years after their invention. Most of the cars were older models…many were Russian and European small cars. No big Cadillacs or Lincolns. Stoplights! Even they weren’t at every corner and only two lights, red and green. The streets were paved! Approaching the palace, it was even more intimidating from below. It stood…I guessed about fifteen or twenty stories, maybe. The road brought us to a large entrance at the palace’s base. Driving in the entrance way through, and I’m not kidding, a huge iron gate rose up to let us in. I smiled wondering where the moat was. There were huge, thick, and heavy wooden doors that could be shut and barred presenting invaders with an even more of a challenge. We came in a courtyard that was surrounded by very thick, high walls. In the past, it was where people came and got off horses or out of carriages, now there were places to park cars. Even a gas pump! “In the past, this was where…if there was an attack we would house as many villagers as possible here for their protection. There are plenty of rooms.” Peter explained and waved me to a door in the side. “Now, you’ll see where you’re going to live.” Again, there was a large wooden door many inches thick that could be shut, blocking the entrance. If they got into the courtyard, they’d get the message again. Keep out. I wondered how many times that was tested. Enough to warrant these precautions! Going through the wide entrance way we ended in front of…an elevator!? It was an older one, no enclosed elevator with walls, but a platform that was sturdy and could lift several hundred to several thousands of pounds! “The Soviets added this,” Peter said smiling. “They didn’t want to climb all the stairs.” I grinned and turned. “The poor things,” I said mockingly sad as he pushed me gently to get on the elevator. “How did the kingdom survive with the Soviets in charge?” Peter grinned and shrugged. “We supplied them with iron and other metals, they didn’t really do too much as long as we kept the supplies going.” A man in his forties got on with us and nodded to me. “Greetings, Prince Eric.” He said in accented English. I nodded and smiled at him and said in Makarovian. “I’m not a prince yet, but thank you.” The man smiled. “But you will be!” All the things Makarovia didn’t have, it did have a lot of kinds and accepting people. That was just so rare! The man grabbed a lever and pulled. There was the whine as motors started and we began to rise. The path this elevator took had been made; chiseled out of the rock. We stopped at a landing? Peter again pushed me gently into a corridor that led to other parts of this castle. It was…rock! I expected to see torches instead of burning lights. They had electricity. Going in deeper, the corridor opened to a wide and tall area….a few feet away were more steps, not stairs, but finely honed rock that took you up to a large chamber. There were chandeliers that hung and the floor here was still rock, but polished rock and more decoratively placed. “Peter!” I heard Olek call out as he approached us with his arms open wide as he came. Dressed casually in dark slacks and white shirt, he looked comfortable. “Welcome home!” He hugged his brother and turned to me. “Eric!” He greeted and hugged me, too. “Welcome to Makarovia!” “I’m thrilled to be here, Olek!” I said sincerely. “Thank you.” Olek smiled still. “What do you think?” He looked around the castle. “This is nice!” I said again. “It reminds me of some of those stories I was raised on; a fairy tale.” “Peter!” A female voice I knew now greeted. Queen Alla did the same as her stepson had and me adding a kiss on both of us on the cheek. She was also comfortable, dressed in a nice dress, but not fancy. She was at home. “I know you’re all probably very tired. How long was your flight?” Peter nodded. “About eighteen hours, stopping to refuel in Germany.” Olek nodded. “Well, your quarters are still there and waiting. Go, rest and we’ll have a good dinner later tonight, okay.” He looked at me. “You’ll be fine for now, but…” he let out a moan. “You’ll know jetlag by morning. Time changes are the hardest.” He said kissing Peter on the cheek. “It’s so good to have you home!” He leaned in and kissed me on the cheek! This was Europe! They did that as a custom, but Olek’s greeting was heartfelt. He patted his brother on the arm. “Go rest. Welcome home, you two.” Peter reached and took my hand. “Now, you will see our rooms.” He said turning. The best way to say it, this was the palace in a castle. While the palaces in France, Germany, and England were sometimes pretty on the inside and out. This part of the palace in Stryia was…they used what they had! The outside was a little rough, but here…it was pretty! The polished floor and light fixtures were elegant, no crystal chandeliers, but nice. The floor the steps led us on was wide. On either side of those steps were stairs going up. On either side of the…what is the word? Not a lobby, but from this area, there were doors that led to other rooms or halls. The ceiling of this lobby was about three stories up. Peter led me upstairs to a hallway and led me to a set of double doors. Peter opened the door and waved me in. Now I understood why he said, “our rooms.” It was more than one! This area entered was where he lived and did his…whatever. There was a big fireplace on the left, a sofa and chair in front of that. He had a desk with a computer, a large screen TV. Through a door on the right led to the bathroom, another door on the right led to his bedroom…our bedroom. Heat was the main concern in Makarovia. The rooms were not big; in fact, they were kind of cozy so the fireplace didn’t have to heat as much space. There were a couple of small windows not big enough for a person to get through on the far wall. It didn’t let anyone in if they could climb the outside, but it limited the light from the sun. Electric lights were the illumination, but having those windows told me just how thick the walls were; they were at least a foot to a foot and a half inches of solid stone. Peter watched as I walked around. There were pictures and other things more personal, artwork, but he noticed a shelf of…books and CDs! I grinned as I read some of the titles in English, Russian, French, and German. I smiled back at Peter. “This is very nice, Peter.” He smiled now, more relaxed. “I’m glad you think so.” He motioned to the room. “I spend many years in here. Hiding.” I nodded. “You’re not hiding now,” I said coming up to him. “I love you, Peter. I’m home where you are. This is very nice.” Then I grinned. “How’s your bed?” He smiled back. “You’ll see for yourself!” He took my hand and led me to the bedroom. The bedroom was mostly all bed which was at least queen sized. No jokes, please! With maybe a foot or a little more on either side was the walls. The ceiling in here was lower, heat rises and they wanted to keep the heat down where you slept. The fireplace kept the room warm, two small tables with lamps on either side; that was it. I didn’t care for hunting, but I could understand why there was a huge fur on the bed as a cover. With it getting that cold outside in the winter, what kept the bear or whatever warm worked well. I would also find they were damned warm to wear moving around outside in subzero weather. They were very necessary, but that would be later when I found that out. He kissed me gently wrapping his arms around me. “Are you tired?” I nodded. “Sure, you are too,” I said seeing it in his eyes. He didn’t need to say so. He smiled. “I am, we’ll rest a few hours.” He kissed me again gently. “I want you to be comfortable here.” I nodded. “I am already. You’ll have to help me in Makarovia.” He nodded. “I will. You’ll do fine.” His arms tightened around me. “I love you, Eric.” I smiled kissing him back. “I know.” It is a rare moment when we lay down and didn’t make love, but it had been a long trip! The fur was removed as it wasn’t needed now. I lay down with Peter right next to me and we drifted off in minutes. It was a very comfortable bed. The thick walls also allowed it to be dark during the day. Sleep was not a problem. I woke as Peter moved slightly. I was spooned behind him. He was waking up. Hearing him move and feeling him turn slightly; I knew what he was doing, checking to see if I were awake. “I’m awake, baby.” I chuckled. “But you can’t really see that as its dark in here!” He turned and faced me. “I like the dark.” He shrugged. “But I like to see you, too.” He turned again and turned on the lamp beside the bed. He grinned back at me. “Now, I can.” He reached under the covers and I felt his hand on me, taking my cock gently. “I love you.” “I love you.” He leaned over again and went in a small portion of the bedside table and pulled out a bottle. He grinned. “Show me.” He waved the lube in front of my face. I didn’t need any more encouragement. We did make love showing each other love. Afterward, he looked at his watch. “I guess we need to get up, shower and dress.” He got up and smiled. “We can shower together.” I grinned. “We often do.” His home was an interesting combination of old-world structure and modern ways. The bathroom was added from another room. The floor was covered with a rug to protect feet from the cold stone floor. The pipes and other things were added and ran along the wall. I would find that in the entire palace; electrical cables, satellite fiber optic cables and pipes were discretely lining the walls. This castle was over seven or eight hundred years old! Like the protection from arrows, which wouldn’t be used now. They just added what was needed. His shower was a nice one, but free standing. A large tank nearby provided the hot water. We showered and…well…we were both naked, so…why not? After we got through, Peter smiled and got his jacket and handed me one. “Before we go to dinner, you should see something,” Peter said. “It’s still a little chilly, you might need a jacket.” He said putting his on. “Okay.” I did what he said I should and he led me through the corridors, but instead of going down, we went up. On the roof of this colossal castle, the roof was flat. On it sat Satellite dishes, but we were up high and it was evening. The sun had set and he led me to the side to overlook all of Stryia. Instead of the harsh, bright lights of cities, the lights below were a soft yellow and seemed to add a touch of magic; to me, anyway. Almost no light pollution and above us was a nearly cloudless sky full of stars. The surrounding mountains were black on the horizon in all directions. I smiled at what I saw. “It’s beautiful,” I said reverently. “And tomorrow, I’ll show you more,” Peter said kissing me on the side of my head. “Welcome home, my love.” Chapter 11
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