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Poor Drake
“Why did you go and saddle me with a title?”, I asked, as the other members of my family, including Lizell and Lorelei sat around the emperor’s living room and laughed.

“Because someone had to fill the spot and I didn’t want to put up with all the lesser nobles fighting to be the one. Besides, Drake, you are a noble now and it is your duty to continue your line.”

“I am going to have to send people to safe-search her palace to make sure I can walk in without being blown to pieces.”

“Send in the Space Rangers. You’re in charge of the military.”

“That is abuse of power.”

“No, it isn’t. You are a noble going into an unknown situation. You have the right to request military support.”

“Who would I request the support from?”

“You send an official request to the Supreme Marshal,” Robert said, then started to chuckle.

“You are having way too much fun with this.”

Robert controlled his laughter. Then he placed his hands on my shoulders. “You are my brother by choice. I need nobles around me I can trust. Too many of the noble families are just interested in what power they can grab. Not once have you asked or sought the power you have earned. Not once have you abused any of it. You have trained yourself in every military technique. You have trained yourself to be a computer hacker and a spy. You have trained yourself in every form of combat anyone can think of. The only reason you did any of this was to support the empire. Drake, if my father were alive he would adopt you, and put you on the throne instead of me. Be my Grand Duke of the Eastmarch. You will be the political leader responsible for quadrant three of the empire.”

“If I didn’t love you like a brother, I would hit you right now.”

“Then it is settled. Now what are your plans for the near future?”

“I am going to put MI on the search for the duchess’s headman. I think he can still be a problem. I am also going to send a few battalions of the Space Rangers and regular military to my new palace in the Eastmarch.”

“What about Lizell?”, he asked, as he looked past me.

“I have a plan for her, and I need your help with it. Can we talk in private?”

“Come my brother -- let us plot your future.”

The emperor spoke to me in private for about an hour in his office. When we came out, Lizell looked at me with an arched eyebrow. “What have you two been plotting?”

“My doom, my love.”

Dinner that night was almost festive. I got to meet the young man who was the front-runner for Cleo’s hand. As we were brought into the dining room, a young man maybe a year or two older than Cleo was announced into the room. “The heir to the duchy of Anliana, Makeal Dalla.”

All of the men at the table, except the emperor, stood at his entrance. He turned to look at each of us and when he saw me there with full weapons on he blanched.

Cleo went to him and took his hand. She then guided him over to me and Lizell. “Makeal, may I have the pleasure of introducing the Grand Duke Drake Daemon and his Consort Lizell Stanner?”

The young man looked at me and then glanced at the rank pins at my throat. I could hear him swallow as he tried to get a hold on his courage. “It is an honor to meet you, your grace,” he said, extending his hand.

“I am very pleased to meet you as well, Makeal.”

“Uncle Drake, quit scaring the poor man to death,” Daniel said from across the room.

As Cleo led the young man away, I could hear him whisper, “Why does he have weapons?”

“He is PG and my father’s most trusted man. Only the emperor may take his weapons from him.” Cleo smiled as the young man pulled her seat out for her.

I nodded my approval as she sat and he pushed her chair in.

Dinner was fun. It took Makeal more than an hour to quit watching me out of the corner of his eye.

Lizell leaned in at one point and whispered into my ear, “Do you suspect him of something?”

“I suspect everyone.”

“Do you suspect me of something?”

“Yes,” I said, as I looked into her eyes.

“What do you suspect me of?”

“Attempted seduction of a Praetorian Guard,” I said, smiling.

“Attempted?”, she asked, with an arched eyebrow.

“Have you succeeded yet, tonight?”

“Not yet,” she said, with a smile.

“Then you should try harder.”

As she sat back and arched her eyebrow at me, Little Drake came up and climbed in her lap. He then promptly curled up in her arms and fell asleep.

The look on Lizell’s face as she held the little boy said it all to me.


It took three days for my plan to come into place. I was ready when it did.

I was dressed in my full dress blacks. The only condition to lessen my awards was I wore the combined-performance versions instead of the full number of them. The combined-performance version had a number on the ribbon that indicated the number of the medals accrued in that category. That reduced the number of medals on my chest to sixty.

I stepped into our room at the palace. “Lizell, I need to go and review the troops headed for the ducal palace. Would you like to join me?”

“That sounds like fun!” Her voice held a note of sarcasm in it.

“I think you will enjoy it. How often do you get to review a lot of men in uniform?”

“Okay, you convinced me.”

We drove to the base and entered through the palace gate. I saw the signs of my plan everywhere. I hoped Lizell could not see them.

When we arrived at the review stand, I asked Lizell to wait while I gathered a few things I needed. She sat in one of the chairs and I headed to the building behind her. I watched from the building as the imperial family approached and sat near Lizell.

They sat and watched as the soldiers started to move into formation. This was a very special formation, though. Then the ground tugs pulled the jump shuttles into place and I smiled.

I started my walk towards her. With each step my nerves grew tenser.

I stepped around the end of the reviewing stand just as a flight of stingers passed over head. Those got her attention.

Lizell looked up and saw the jets leaving intermittent trails of smoke. Then she smiled as they spelled out her name in the air.

Then she gasped as it all hit her at once. The jump shuttles and tugs had been arranged to spell the words “Will You”.

The formation of men in front of the podium spelled out the words, “Marry Me?”

Then she looked down to see me kneeling in front of her with a ring box extended.

As she put her hands to her mouth with a huge smile behind them, the emperor stood up and put his hand on her shoulder. “Grand Lady Lizell Stanner, the Grand Duke Drake Daemon has sued for permission from the throne to take you to wife. I have granted permission, and now seek your permission for him to call upon you. Will you accept his proposal?”

“Yes, Yes, Yes!” As she spoke, she flung herself down from the platform and wrapped her arms around me. “I will take you today. I will take you tomorrow. I will take you every day for the rest of our lives!”

I silently pulled the engagement ring out of the box and placed it on her finger. As the ring slipped on, the men in formation cheered and threw their hats into the air.

As I stood, I scooped her into my arms. “I wish to introduce my fiancé, Lizell Stanner.”

As our family came forward to congratulate us, I heard Angel whisper into Lizell’s ear. “You are one lucky woman. I would give up my position for him.”

Lizell looked into her eyes. “I know how lucky I am, and I thank you.” There was no jealousy in her eyes, and the thank you was sincere. Lizell knew that there had been women in my life before her. It did not bother her. I was hers now.


“Can my parents come to our wedding?”, Lizell asked, as we were getting ready for bed.

“Of course they can, my love. I will send an escort to bring them.”

“But they have never been cleared, and the emperor is going to be there.”

“I am sure your parents will be no threat to the emperor. I am also sure he would be delighted to meet them. I would be delighted to meet them.”

“Oh, God!”, she suddenly said, as she was looking in the mirror.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just realized I am going to be a grand duchess!”

I started laughing. I couldn’t help it.

“It isn’t funny!”, she said in an annoyed voice.

“You all thought it was funny when I became a grand duke. Now you know how I felt.”

“But I don’t even know what a Grand Duchess does. My only example was a homicidal bitch with a god complex.”

“I am sure we can learn side by side.”

“Cleo wants to throw me a bachelorette party. Her mother said we can get the men from the PG to strip for us.”

“I will have to issue chastity belts to them first.”

“Is that a spark of jealousy I hear?”

“Not at all. It is full-blown jealousy.”

She came to me and threw her arms around my neck. “There is no way I would even think of anything like that. I don’t want to blow my chances of being a grand duchess.”

“I see how it is. You just want me for my title.”

“Yes, I want the title, ‘Mrs. Daemon’.”

I picked her up in my arms and carried her to the bed. My kisses to her neck and shoulder became very serious as we walked. By the time we were at the bed, she had pulled my robe off my shoulders and let it fall behind me.

I stood her at the side of the bed and put my hands in the collar of her silk robe. With a jerk, I tore the fabric down the length of the robe and threw it aside. She threw her arms around my neck again and we started kissing as we stood there naked.

I felt one of her hands leave my neck and begin to travel down the length of my body. Those dainty fingers grasped my hard staff and began to caress it. I moaned into her mouth as we kissed. Then she pulled away and bit the edge of her lip lightly as she sat back onto the bed. She guided me forward by the convenient handle in her hand.

I watched as her lips wrapped around just the tip of the sword in her hand. Then she sucked hard and made me moan. She maintained her suction as she slowly opened her mouth and allowed my erection to slide in slowly. The sensation as my staff entered the portal of her lips was amazing. Her tongue danced and played as she took me in. She had me dancing on the edge of my orgasm very quickly.

With great effort and iron will, I pulled her away from her task. Then I moved onto the bed and lay next to her. As she moved to resume her activity, I guided her legs over my face. I took possession of her womanhood and began to devour her.

The sounds of love filled our room as we moaned and whimpered. She delighted in making me moan, and I delighted in making her moan. My concentration on her held me back and I held off my orgasm. Then she broke. Her legs clamped on my head and she began to quiver. Then her quivering became shaking as she lifted her head and cried out. I sucked her clit into my mouth and began to flick my tongue across that little nub. She exploded and I drank from the river of her essence.

As she relaxed, I rolled her over on her back. Then I turned and joined her in a kiss. Her essence still covered my face as we kissed deeply. In the middle of our kiss, I thrust forward. She moaned into my mouth as my sword buried in her sheath. Then she wrapped her legs around my waist and began to pull me into her. Our kiss stayed joined as we thrust and counter-thrust with each other.

We built upward and climbed together. Our sparks joined as we entered the final rush into bliss. Then we tumbled and fell together as she orgasmed onto me and I orgasmed into her. We both fell trembling into a passionate orgasm together.


My eyes came open in the deepest part of the night. A storm had moved in and thunder rolled and played in the air outside. I lay there listening. I strained to hear what had awakened me. I could not detect anything out of the ordinary.

“Praetorian Leaders, status report,” I said softly over my ear bob. The sound of my voice woke Lizell. I waited, but no reply came.

I sent out the general call. “All Praetorian Guard! We have a potential situation. Alert status code blood red. Primary concern is palace.”

The replies were instant. I had acknowledgments from all of the unit generals and marshal staff in seconds. The problem was that they were at least three minutes away.


“I am awake.”

“Code lock and secure.”

The emperor fell silent. I hoped it was due to the fact he followed my instructions. If he had called the code, all of the royal bed chambers just became sealed mini fortresses. They were not as safe as a warren, but they would do in a pinch.

I moved out of the bed silently as Lizell climbed from the other side. I froze in my tracks at a slight scraping sound in the hallway. I saw Lizell out of the corner of my eye. She had pulled one of my pistols and had it aimed at the door.

When the sound did not repeat, I started to move again. I needed my weapons. I moved as silently as I could to the stand where I kept my weapons. I deliberately strapped all my weapons into place. Once I was armed, I moved to Lizell. “I need you to get into the bathroom. You are to kneel in the bathtub. Then you are to keep that weapon pointed at the door. If anyone opens the door, shoot them,” I said in the lightest whisper.

Lizell nodded and started to move towards the bathroom. As she moved, the slight scraping sound came again from outside our bedroom door.

Once my love was ensconced in the bathroom, I started to assess the situation. The main body of the PG was at least a minute away at this point. I was dealing with forces unknown and the only thing I knew for sure was that one or more was outside the door.

The thunder pealed outside as I moved to look out the window. What I saw raised the hair on the back of my neck. There were battledroids standing in the courtyard.

Battledroids had been banned more than five hundred years ago. They had a tendency to kill without reason. If someone held anything that could be considered a weapon, they would shoot without thought. The problem came down to what was and what wasn’t a weapon. If a battledroid saw someone use something to attack or defend, it became a weapon in their database. The database was shared between droids. It all came to a head when they saw martial arts used. The human body became a weapon.

What did this boil down to? We were in trouble. Battledroids were swift and silent.

My term as the Grand Duke of the Eastmarch was going to be very short.


2017-07-18 00:51:07
I wonder about the parents myself.

Anonymous readerReport 

2014-11-17 05:19:28
I suspect everyone. He once said.
Except her parents about whom he knows nothing?

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