Vaarsuvius sighed in contentment, fingering Redcloak’s bare chest, eyes glazed with afterglow. The goblin had his arm around his wife’s naked shoulders, his face tilted towards her hair. Their respective scents were melded together, seasoned with the smell of sex.
“I love you, Vaarsuvius.”
The elf looked up, smiling and kissing Redcloak’s cheek gently. “I love you as well.” The mage snuggled close and closed violet eyes, still running pale fingers across a green chest. “Today was productive.”
“Very. My little brother couldn’t be happier with you, and my big brother and uncle aren’t too far behind. It looks like Little Sister is open as well.” He brushed his lips against her hairline. “Don’t worry about my parents. They always come around eventually.”
“My love, after we have been intimate, I find that I lack the mental faculties to worry.” The elf nuzzled the goblin’s neck affectionately. “Good night.”
“Good night.” The goblin smiled and tightened his grip a little on his wife, resting a hand on her pregnant belly and starting to doze…
Redcloak blinked awake, noting that the door was open and Tiasal was leaning on the doorway, rubbing her eyes with her knuckle tiredly and purple hair falling down to her chest in ringlets. He quickly pulled the covers up to hide his and his wife’s nakedness.
“Tiasal?” He glanced at the clock beside the bed blearily, goblin eyes making it easy for him to see it in the dark. “It’s three in the morning. Did you have a nightmare?”
Vaarsuvius stirred, but Redcloak kissed her temple, reassurance that everything was fine and she could remain in trance. He didn’t want his pregnant mate to lose any rest.
“No, Daddy. Grandma and Grandpa won’t stop doing weird things in my room. They say they’re showing me ‘the beauty of love.’ They won’t tell me what it is.” She stopped to yawn.
Redcloak blinked the sleep from his eyes, still trying to process what his daughter was saying. Probably a weird dream… or something… what was she talking about again? “Alright. I’ll be there in a moment. Turn around.”
Tiasal frowned in confusion, then did as she was told. Redcloak made sure she wasn’t watching before he stood and pulled on his sleep pants. There was no need for his daughter to see what was between his legs.
He wrapped his cloak in a loose belt and tied it around his hips. “Let’s try to stay quiet for your mother’s sake. So what was your dream about?”
“Daddy, it wasn’t a dream.” Redcloak rubbed his eyes and walked around the bed, lightly resting his hand on the back of his daughter’s head and slipping out of the room, quietly closing the door behind him. “Grandma and Grandpa came to talk to me. They said that you and Mommy weren’t showing me enough. So they said that they should start with ‘garden variety’ and then they’ll ‘branch out’ once I ‘got the basics.’ They were confusing, so I came to get you. I don’t think they noticed.” She frowned, yawning again, wide enough to show off her bitty fangs and tusks.
Redcloak frowned, trying to blink the tired fog from his mind. “Wait, what?”
“I’ve seen it before, and I’m glad that I’m finding something out, but they’re not explaining anything.” She frowned. “What do you and Mommy do to each other when you’re naked in the bed? It looks like you like it, but it reminds me a bit of what Xykon’s cleric did.”
Redcloak looked down at her, furrowing his brow, taking a moment to process what she was saying. “What?”
Tiasal rolled her eyes. “I’ll ask when you’re more awake.” She pushed open the door to her room and led Redcloak inside.
The goblin looked up, prepared to reassure his daughter that it was a dream and wait with her until she fell back asleep, then she saw what she was talking about.
“By the Dark One!”
He snapped out of his sleepy haze and picked up Tiasal sharply, covering up her eyes. “What the hell are you doing?! No, don’t answer that—WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IT IN MY DAUGHTER’S ROOM?!”
Two unabashedly naked spectral elves looked up at Redcloak, both smiling and flushed but not stopping what they were doing. They were on top of an incorporeal bed, the man was chained to the posts, and… by the Dark One, they weren’t stopping.
“Oh, we just noticed that you hadn’t been showing Tia the beautiful side of love, so we decided to step in while you and Suvie were sleeping.”
“Who the hell are you?!” Redcloak spun Tiasal a little so he could hide her face in his chest, and she started to squirm.
“Daddy, what’s happening?”
“Will you stop doing… that!” Redcloak averted his eye. “My daughter’s right here!”
“Exactly!” The woman elf on top let out a noise that made Redcloak really tempted to just send his little girl to Haley and Elan’s house or something, but knowing Tiasal, she would just peek through the keyhole. And he wouldn’t be able to cover her eyes. “She should see these things.”
“What gives you the right to just start doing that with each other when she’s here?! Who the hell are you?!”
They let out more sounds that made Redcloak try to cover his daughter’s ears. “She should know about intimacy.”
The male elf shifted so that he could see Redcloak better. “Do you want to join in?”
Redcloak sputtered for a moment. “…GET OUT OF MY DAUGHTER’S ROOM!”
“…By the elven gods, I swear that I would have murdered you both if you weren’t already dead, as the evidence implies.”
Redcloak looked sharply at the door, frazzled and completely surprised by the fact that his wife, her body clothed in a thin and nearly transparent slip and her skin radiant with a pregnant glow, did not look in the least bit shocked by this spectacle. On the contrary, she looked furious.
She held out her arms for Tiasal, and Redcloak slowly gave her the child. Said child did not look amused.
“Mommy, I want to know what this is.”
Vaarsuvius arched an eyebrow, using the stern ‘you will do what I tell you to’ look that got even Redcloak to do as she wished. “Daughter…” Tiasal scowled, shooting back a look that said that she was ready to fight the point. The two females mentally warred for a moment before Vaarsuvius conceded a compromise.
“We will explain this to you. Tomorrow morning, after this has been sorted out. Go to the guest bed—we will join you soon enough.”
Tiasal seemed to accept this as an acceptable agreement, recognizing that her mother had only been willing to negotiate because she didn’t want to lose her daughter’s trust or nourish any resentment in her. Vaarsuvius put her down, a light tousling of her hair the only gesture of affection, and the little girl obediently left. Redcloak wasn’t afraid of her peeking through the keyhole. She had been promised an explanation, so she wouldn’t try to seek one out.
It still didn’t explain Vaarsuvius’s calmness or the fact that two elves were still having sex in their daughter’s room!
“Will you stop?!”
Both elves stiffened, shouting in Elven and making sounds that made Redcloak want to curl up in a corner and scrub out his eardrums, before they relaxed and pulled away from each other, the woman cheerfully taking out a ghostly key and unlocking the handcuffs that kept the man to the bed. “Well, I suppose we’re stopping now. It always takes about five minutes for these things to happen again.”
“I don’t see why you both are so upset.” The man pushed back blue hair from his eyes, sitting up and smiling warmly at both of them. “It’s beautiful.”
“Oh please. Both of you, get dressed. My husband’s first impression of you is bad enough as it is,” Vaarsuvius said, rolling violet eyes and talking as though Belkar and Haley got into another childish squabble and she was stuck with breaking them up.
“Why are you still so sensitive about these things, Suvie? Would a foursome with your hubby make it better? You know, not having to breathe and being incorporeal has really big advantages…”
Redcloak choked a little, shocked speechless, and Vaarsuvius let out an exasperated growl. “Oh for the love of the elven gods… No, we are not interested. Pester someone else.”
The woman scowled, crossing her arms over her breasts. “Suvie, is this really the way to react after not having seen us for years?”
“Who are you?!” Redcloak finally managed to sputter out, staring at the still very naked elves in shock.
Vaarsuvius glanced over at him, letting out a belabored sigh. “…Well, my love, this is Aula and Tiberius.” She held his hand, lacing their fingers together, and he sensed a trace of nervousness in her movements. “They are my parents.”
“…” Redcloak blinked up at the elves that had just popped in and decided that it was a good idea to have sex in front of his child, then offered to have a foursome with their daughter and son-in-law. “…By the Dark One.”
“Nice to meet you!” Tiberius slipped out of the spectral bed (still naked!) and pressed his lips against the goblin’s, giving of the weirdest kisses Redcloak had ever had.
The goblin immediately recoiled, sputtering again in shock, and Vaarsuvius scowled, pulling Redcloak safely away from the ghosts. “Other Parent! Cease sexually harassing my husband immediately!”
Tiberius ignored the protests cheerfully. “It’s so nice to see that Suvie’s gotten someone she’s happy with. We approved of Inky and all—that elf was a good one—but the relationship didn’t really have any ‘oomph.’ I didn’t think it would last too long, but Aula disagreed. Speaking of which…”
“Yes, yes, I know that I owe you a bedtime story. A bet’s a bet.” Aula slipped out of the bed (Redcloak was uncomfortable to note that she was actually quite attractive, for an elf) and spun around Tiberius (and she was still naked!).
Redcloak wondered what sort of thing ‘bedtime story’ was a euphemism for. As if sensing his thoughts, Vaarsuvius looked at him and sighed softly, clearly embarrassed. “They do not use euphemisms.”
He was swiftly distracted when Aula floated forward, pressing their lips together. Redcloak recoiled again, only this time he wasn’t so off guard, and he opted to jump away at a safe distance. These were the people who sexually abused his wife?
…Well, he could completely see them doing the things Vaarsuvius had mentioned. In fact, he was seeing them doing those things. They just… weren’t exactly what he expected.
“Parent! Other Parent! Stop harassing my husband!” Vaarsuvius scowled and shifted so she was next to him. “Perhaps you have never heard of the term ‘monogamy’, but we are content with practicing it.”
Redcloak wrapped his arms around his wife—he would admit that he was clinging a little—and stared up at his in-laws, unable to decide what to make of them.
“You’re so touchy, Suvie. Tell your parents what’s wrong.”
“What is wrong is that you had sex in front of my daughter—which we now must explain to her—and you are harassing my husband. Please just be dressed.”
Aula scowled, then sighed, her body spontaneously becoming clothed in a simple shirt and pants. Tiberius glanced at her and did the same. “Are you happy, Suvie?”
“Happy, no. But more comfortable.”
Vaarsuvius tightened her grip on Redcloak’s hand, pulling him gently to the bed and sitting down with him. Aula and Tiberius sat in the air across from them, the spectral bed they had been on disappearing.
“Make no mistake: I am furious at your inappropriate behavior with my child, but I have found that scolding you is pointless. Can this be a proper ‘meet the parents’ experience? Or as proper as it can be at this point in it?”
Aula and Tiberius glanced at each other. “We’re not good at proper.”
Redcloak shook his head and briefly wondered if he was still asleep and this was some bizarre dream.
Vaarsuvius sighed, rubbing her temples. “Parent, Other Parent, this is Redcloak, my second mate. You did not meet my first, but judging by your comments, you know of my first marriage.”
“Oh, Inky was a lovely person, believe me, but that elf didn’t get you to smile like you do nowadays.” Tiberius smiled, propping his head on his fists.
“She actually spends time with her children and makes love to you without being badgered into it. That alone shows that this is a better-fated marriage,” Aula said cheerfully, causing Redcloak to go bright red and Vaarsuvius to bury her face in her hands.
“Parent, this is where I tell you about boundaries again. One of the traditional boundaries in parent/child/in-law relationships is that one is not supposed to discuss the sex lives of either party.”
“That’s no fun.”
Vaarsuvius looked up from her hands, frowning. “Wait a moment, how do you know about the frequency of our intimacies? Or my and Inkyrius’s past intimacies?”
Redcloak squirmed, green face red.
Aula shrugged. “We watch sometimes.”
Redcloak buried his face in his hands and Vaarsuvius became bright red, right up to the roots of her hair. “You what?!”
“We watch. You know, you both should really invest in some new tricks, or it’s going to become stale fast,” Tiberius said, still smiling cheerfully.
Vaarsuvius stood up sharply, looking more and more scarlet by the moment. “That is completely inappropriate! Watching us in our intimate moments… by the elven gods!”
“Sweetie, how long have you known us?”
Vaarsuvius let out a cry of fury, gripping her hair in her fists. “Will you respect your child’s privacy for once?!” She tried to take a deep breath and calm herself down. “You are going to leave. You will not be able to see us again unless we allow you. I may summon you back to be properly acquainted with your son-in-law and grandchild, but I will have to wait until I am calm.” She looked to her husband. “Banish them. Immediately.”
Redcloak gladly did as his wife said.
When they were gone, Vaarsuvius stood rigid for a few moments, then sat on the bed besides her husband, growling softly. “By the elven gods…”
Redcloak glanced over at her, and at seeing how flustered she was, a smile grew.
“Do you understand why I did not want you to meet them?”
Redcloak only laughed, provoking a confused glare from his wife, making him laugh harder. “By the Dark One, Vaarsuvius! Those are the people that raised you?”
He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and kissed the corner of her scowling mouth, provoking a deeper scowl. “I do not see how this is amusing, Redcloak!”
“I love you so much.” He smiled and nuzzled his wife’s neck. “This definitely wasn’t what I had in mind when I imagined your parents. I expected bookish, distant types. But this fits, oddly enough.” He kissed her pulse point playfully. “This is so ridiculous and they’re so charmingly bizarre that I can’t bring myself to be angry.”
She glared at him.
“Think about it—I bet no one else has a ‘meet the parents’ experience like this. Wake up, walk into the kid’s room, and they’re having sex on an immaterial bed and offering everyone a chance to join like we’re at some seedy strip club. It’s something I’d expect out of a parody novel or something.”
“How is this amusing?!”
“I can’t take it seriously!” Redcloak let out another laugh, hugging his wife close. “Come on, V. I know you’re embarrassed. So am I. I’ll just cast a spell to make sure they can’t peep or randomly appear again, okay? And maybe in a bit we can talk to them a little more. They’re family.”
Vaarsuvius was still scowling.
“You know how important family is to me.” He nuzzled her again affectionately, still chuckling. “Come on. Give me a smile.”
She crossed her arms, softening a little. “You are going to need to explain this to Tiasal, then.”
“I figured I would.”
Redcloak smiled and kissed his wife again, standing up with her and tenderly rubbing her swollen stomach. “Let’s get to Tiasal and sleep, okay? We’ll handle this in the morning.”
“It is morning.”
“After sunrise, then.” He nipped the elf’s ear playfully, provoking a squeak and squirming. “Don’t be so technical, ‘Suvie.’”
Vaarsuvius glared at him.
“I think that I’m going to call you that now. Is it cutesy enough for us?”
“I swear, I wonder why I agreed to marry you sometimes…”
“You know you love me.”
“I stopped being your captor a while ago, Suvie.”
“You are still my captor. If you weren’t so insistent on impregnating me, I would have run away with another a long time ago.”
“Hey, you don’t seem too opposed to that when we’re alone at night.”
“Which is why you are still my captor! You are going to continue being charming so I can never refuse your advances and leave.”
“Well, you’re going to continue being a wonderful woman so I can never go off with some other girl. Every young idiot’s supposed to forget how good they’ve got it and leave their mate once.”
“You would never find someone half as engaging as me and you know it.”
“Is that a challenge?”
The two playfully bickered until they came to the guest room where Tiasal was curled up in the king-sized bed. Both fell silent. They glanced at each other, an elf and a goblin, and smiled, sharing a soft kiss before they slipped on either side of their daughter. Tiasal stirred, but stayed asleep.
Vaarsuvius and Redcloak grasped hands and fell asleep.
Aula and Tiberius curled up on the forest floor, looking at the everlasting sky and holding each other close. “Do you think we got Suvie angry?”
“Oh, she’s just flustered. She’ll be okay.”
Aula nodded, resting her head on her mate’s shoulder contentedly and looking at the stars.
“You still owe me a bedtime story.”
Aula looked up at him, a smile playing across her face. “Alright, Mister, then you try to find a Dr. Seuss book and I’ll just keep watching the stars.”
Tiberius grinned and scampered off into the woods.