Villain, 62

Getting Things Back in Their Usual Places Is Always a Nice Feeling

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“Everyone had better be out of the castle,” Sam said, hands out in front of him. “I’m not listening to bitching later that someone was inside and got crushed.”

“Yes, your Majesty.” Derek was a little behind him, sounding excited. “Everyone’s out. I made sure.”

“Daisy and the baby are at the back of the crowd,” Henry said in Sam’s ear.

“Okay.” Sam took in a breath. He was less annoyed with Henry now. Or rather he was still annoyed with him, but he felt better over all since he’d talked to Todd. Which was certainly not a thought he’d ever imagined he’d have, but there it was. “Everyone better fucking watch, I’m only going to do this once.”

He let the Forces crawl across his body, breathing through his nose. And he reached out for all the rubble of the castle, lifted it up. And he prepared to put it back in place.

Doing the spell the second time was easier, because Sam knew how it worked, what he had to do. Guiding the Forces rather than commanding them was still new to him, but he knew what it was supposed to feel like this time so he found it more easily. The castle was a fuck of a lot bigger than the cathedral, but that was never an issue. Sam was more than powerful enough for that not to matter.

There was something pressing against him, warm and fond, and it seemed to be helping him along as he worked. It was…it was Delilah, Sam realized after a minute. Her power was working with his. That wasn’t how this worked. Sorcerers’ powers didn’t work together like that. But work together they did, almost as if Delilah was stabilizing Sam’s power for him.

And then the castle was back together, if the awed sounds of everyone assembled were any indication. Sam relaxed, but not too much. Everyone was still watching. “There,” he said. “The masons can do the rest.”

“I’ll get them in here right away,” Henry told Sam, hand on his back. “All right, you can all have a few hours off, go on.”

“Don’t do that,” Sam said quietly. “It makes them think they can slack off.”

“It also makes them think you did something nice for them.”

“I did. I gave them a fucking castle to live in that isn’t a pile of rubble.”

“And you also gave them a few free hours to relax,” Henry added.

“No, you did that.” Sam sighed. “Whatever, I don’t want to talk about this right now.”

“You haven’t wanted to talk about it for several days now.”

Sam pushed Henry’s hand away. “If you think doing this with everyone around is going to stop me from doing something stupid, you’re wrong. It’s most likely to get one of them killed.”

Henry sighed. “I know. I just wish you’d talk to me. I don’t know what I did wrong because you won’t tell me.”

“Yeah, well, figure it out,” Sam growled. “I’ll snap a collar on you for a few weeks if it’ll help.”

Sam was saved—if that was the right word—by the Sea King, who came over to them, smelling like salt. “An impressive display of power, Sorcerer King,” he said.

“I suppose.” Sam affected disinterest. “It wasn’t that hard. I only waited until now because I wanted to practice the spell on a building I liked less.”

“A sensible precaution. I should hate to have to dig myself out of the rubble if your spell fails to hold.”

“It will hold.” Sam knew he sounded impatient, but he didn’t care.

“Then I shall hold you to that. It was an interesting thing to watch. Perhaps now I know how others felt when I raised my own castle. Though I had a far smaller audience, I must admit.”

“I thought you lived in the ocean,” Sam said, before he could stop himself. “Was your castle on the bottom of the sea?”

“No, I raised it above the waves from living coral,” The Sea King explained. “If you’re curious, coral collapses against the might of a dragon just as easily as does stone.”

Sam had not been curious, but he was now. “Why was a dragon in the middle of the ocean?” And what the fuck did dragons have against castles?

“A question to which I would also like an answer,” said the Sea King. “I grow bored sitting in your castle. And my pirates grow restless. How long must I wait for something to happen?”

Right. “I can’t control when our so-called friend will call on us again, Sea King,” Sam said. “But if you’d like something to do, I do have something in mind.”

“I am not your errand boy, Sorcerer King.”

“It’s not an errand.” It was very much an errand. “It’s something to alleviate your boredom. We have an ally in Hawk’s Roost who could use bolstering.” According to the last letter Henry had read to Sam from his cousin, Hans’s niece had been found and he was ruling through her as regent. And Sam still hadn’t had a letter from Hans, despite the bag of Scott’s eggs he’d sent to him. What he really needed was a knife up his ass, but a reminder that Sam knew where he was should suffice. And if it didn’t, Sam would start killing his family.

Actually, he did have a little nephew, if Sam’s information was right. Hm.

“I see,” said the Sea King. “I shall consider it. Hawk’s Roost is not a place with which I am familiar. It is not coastal.”

“It’s on a lake,” Sam said dismissively.

“A lake is not the sea.”

They were the same fucking thing. “It’s all water, isn’t it?”

The Sea King was silent for a moment. “I suppose. I shall consider this.”

And he left. Sam leaned towards Henry without realizing it, and stopped himself. “He’s so annoying.”

“Yeah. Sending him after Hans is a good idea.”

“I’m just going to scare him. And maybe rape his nephew if we can get our hands on him.”

Maybe he shouldn’t have said that last part. This was probably where Henry would tell him no. “I doubt we’ll be able to get our hands on him.”

That was interesting. Maybe Henry really wouldn’t care what Sam did if it was to people outside his beloved plateau. “Whatever. My person in the academy is getting ready to steal the stone. And hopefully Saul at the same time.”

“The stone is what matters in the long run,” Henry reminded him.

“I know, I know,” Sam snapped. He could feel the baby coming closer. “I said that too. Are you okay, Daisy?”

“I’m doing very well,” she told him. She sounded tired. “That was very impressive just now.”

Sam swallowed. “Delilah helped.”

“Did she?”

“Yeah. I don’t know how. I want to hold her.”

“Of course.” Sam tried to remember how to hold his arms, and Delilah was put into them awkwardly, her power nuzzling his.

Sam tried to hold her how he’d been told last time. “She’s gotten heavier.”

“Yes, she’s growing like crazy, isn’t she?” Daisy giggled.

“Is that good?” Was she getting fat? How could she get fat when all she ate was milk?

“Yes, it means she’s healthy.”

Oh. Okay. Delilah was squirming around in his arms. This had been a bad idea, but Sam was holding her now, so he put his free hand on her chest in the hopes that she’d stop. He could feel her heartbeat. “Well, that’s good then. Does she need anything? Do you?”

“No, we’re both so well cared for. Thank you, though.”

“Okay,” Sam said, holding her for just a minute longer. She felt like him, a little. “Okay.” He handed Delilah back to Daisy. “I’ll visit her again soon.”

“Of course, Sam,” Daisy said, patting his hand as she took the baby back. “Thank you.”

And she went into the castle, finally leaving Sam and Henry alone. They stood there awkwardly for a second, then Henry cleared his throat. “You seem happier suddenly.”

Sam wouldn’t say he was happier, but he did feel less agitated. “I guess so.”

“Have to get you to hold Delilah more often.”

“Stop that. You’re controlling my life and I don’t like it,” Sam said, all at once. “That’s…that’s why I’m mad at you. You never let me do anything. You…I don’t do anything that isn’t something that you let me do. You’re treating me like a child again.”

Henry sighed, took Sam’s hand in his. “Okay. I can stop doing that.”

“Can you?”

“We’ll have to find middle ground between you doing what you want and you doing what you need to do,” said Henry. “You’re not a child, so you know that you can’t have just the former and none of the latter.”

“I know. I do know that. But I’m also not a puppet. I’m not walking around with your hand up my ass just doing whatever you want me to do.”

“No, that’s not how being married works,” Henry agreed. He sounded tired, now that Sam was paying attention to him. “Come on, let’s go inside and talk about it.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Sam was aware that he was probably pouting, but he didn’t care.

“But that’s the only way it’s going to happen.” Henry was already pulling him inside. He leaned in, spoke closer to Sam’s ear. “And maybe just for fun, I’ll stick my hand up your ass later.”

Sam made a face for no real reason, wishing his stupid cock wasn’t twitching at that. “Maybe I’ll do it to you first.”

“Maybe you will. Come on, let’s walk around and get a sense of what kind of repairs still need doing.”

“Fine, whatever.”

Maybe it was holding Delilah for those few minutes, or his home being mostly rebuilt, or maybe it was the sense that he was starting to accomplish something, or maybe it was Henry, holding his hand and talking to him normally again. Whatever had done it, Sam was feeling better than before.

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