Authors: M.K. Eidem
A Grim Holiday
By M.K. Eidem
Science Fiction Romance
A Grim Holiday
Tornians Book 1.5
Copyright © 2013 by Michelle K. Eidem
First E-Book Publication December 2013
Cover Design by Judy Bullard
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All characters, places, and events in this book are fictitious or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events, locale, or organizations are strictly coincidental.
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It’s the Holidays on Luda or at least the Tornian version of the Holidays. When Lisa learned about the Festival of the Goddess she was initially excited, that was before she learned just
The blending of families and traditions was never easy but Lisa and the girls were determined to bring their version of the Holidays to Luanda and the people they had come to love.
Twas the night before the Festival and all through the House not a creature was stirring….
Lisa stood silently in the doorway of the girls resting chamber, her head resting against its frame as she listened to Grim’s deep gruff voice. It was always so soft and gentle when he told the girls their bedtime story about the Great Raptor; it had become their nightly ritual. The girls would wait impatiently for him to return for third meal. When he finally did, they’d run to him, showering him with hugs and kisses.
During the meal, they would chatter like little magpies, telling him about every moment of their day, what they had done, where they had gone, to whom they had talked. Grim listened to every word, never once growing impatient with them. Once they were all done eating, the girls would rush into their room and get ready for bed. With laughter and giggles, they would jump into their bed and call for Grim to come tell them a story.
No matter what else was going on inside Luanda, no matter the problems, the stresses or the demands, Grim always made time for his daughters and they flourished under his attention.
Lisa ran a gentle hand over her stomach as she listened. She was only three months along and she was already swelling with Grim’s child. She hadn’t shown like this with the girls until she was at least five months and while she had been surprised, Grim had been amazed. With the exception of Kim, Grim had never seen a female swollen with offspring.
Tornian females hid themselves away when they conceived, going into seclusion instead of allowing their males to witness the development of their offspring. They were fools. Grim loved her changing shape. He was always touching and caressing her, especially her breasts that had already doubled in size. They were so sensitive that all Grim needed to do was look at them and they would pebble, begging for his attention.
The past two months had been busy for everyone. The arrival of ten females had created an uproar unlike anything ever seen before in Luanda. Grim had contacted Montfort while they were still on Tornian ordering the wing closest to the royal one to be cleaned and furnished. Montfort had followed his King’s orders and taken it a step further; making sure it was also done the way his Queen would demand.
Commander Junius was ordered to increase all planetary security, all ships were to be thoroughly searched and any male not from Luda was to be investigated before they were allowed on the surface. While Oya was ordered to double the guards on the walls and lockdown Luanda, no one was to be allowed inside without Grim or Lisa’s permission.
Lisa had contacted Padma, telling her that she would be needed at Luanda immediately upon their arrival. Lisa wanted Padma to meet each woman, measure her and create a wardrobe for each. While coverings had been made for them on Tornian, they were all the same and Lisa wanted them to be able to express their own personal style. So much had been taken away from them that she wanted them to be able to control this.
She had spent a great deal of time with each one individually on the flight home, getting to know them better. She had listened to their dreams and their fears and the fear expressed most often was that once they arrived on Luda they would be besieged by males, all pressuring them to Join. Lisa quickly dispelled that fear, promising them that it wouldn’t be allowed to happen, not unless it was their choice.
Grim had not taken Lisa’s promise well. He had already received hundreds of requests from males that wanted to present themselves to the females; some already en route to Luda, hoping to get first choice. It was why he had increased planetary security.
He had also received many requests from warriors and mannos, all wanting to either serve Grim or have their young males trained by him. They all wanted the honor of serving such a superior warrior from the worthiest of Houses. He knew they would all need to be carefully screened for rumors were already spreading that the warriors of Luanda would be given preferential access to the females. It was stirring up trouble with the other Lords.
They had discussed the situation late into the night. Lisa understood it would cause Grim a great many problems but she refused to back down. The women needed this time. They had argued about it, loved about it and finally they had come up with a solution that, while not perfect, they felt was fair to all those concerned.
It was announced across the Empire, that no male would be allowed to present himself to the females for two months, allowing the women the time they needed to adjust. All males interested in Joining with one would have to send in a written request first. In this request, he must include a visual, an outline of the male’s position in his House, where they would live and more importantly, why he wanted a female. The women would then review the requests and
would decide which males would be invited to Luanda to meet them.
It was also made perfectly clear that being chosen to come to Luanda
guarantee the male a female. It only allowed him the chance.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Lisa’s attention was drawn back to the present when Grim’s voice trailed off. Looking to him, she saw that the girls were both sound asleep and her tough, gruff warrior was carefully tucking their blankets in close before leaning over to place a soft kiss on each one’s forehead.
The nights were growing colder on Luda and Grim worried that the low temperatures would bother them. It didn’t matter how many times she reassured him that they were fine, that temperatures fluctuated on Earth too, he still worried and checked every night.
Her eyes followed him as he quietly moved around the room, making sure the windows were secured and that the curtains tightly drawn. Lastly, he checked their fire, seeing that it was stoked properly then added another log, ensuring that the room would stay warm until morning. When he finally turned to leave, he saw her and froze.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Grim’s eyes flared at the sight of his Lisa leaning against the doorframe. Her long auburn hair framing her beautiful face as her amber eyes watched him with so much love, he couldn’t move. The robe she wore was the new one Padma had created to enhance her blooming figure. A figure that was the result of her carrying his offspring, his daughter, it was so beautiful to him. He thanked the Goddess daily for giving her to him.
There were times he would jerk awake in the middle of the night, his heart racing as he relived the day Luuken had attacked. The gut wrenching fear returning because his Lisa was being chased by dishonorable warriors, the horror of the abuse she had suffered at Luuken’s hands. It was forever burned into his mind.
If Korin hadn’t come to her aid, protecting his Lisa until he could, he would have lost her. Lost both of them. Whenever he woke remembering that terrible day, he would look down at his Lisa, nestled safely in his arms, their offspring pressed against him and he would thank the Goddess again, for his life would be meaningless without her.
He had failed her that day and yet there she stood, trusting him with not only her life but also with those of her daughters,
daughters. His eyes continued to travel over her body, thinking about all the ways he wanted to worship it tonight and frowned. Bare toes wiggled at him as they peeked out from under her robe. She wasn’t wearing the slippers he had insisted Padma make for her.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
“How many tonight?” Lisa asked teasingly as Grim moved towards her.
“Are you warm enough?” He demanded ignoring her question.
Lisa had to stop herself from rolling her eyes. The girls weren’t the only one Grim worried about, especially not now that she carried his daughter. He was always checking on her, making sure she rested, making sure she didn’t overdo it.
The first time she had rushed from his arms with morning sickness Grim had been terrified. He’d roared for the Guards, ordering them to find Hadar and Rebecca as he dropped to his knees beside her, begging her to be all right.
By the time she recovered enough to tell him she would be fine, the entire household had been in an uproar. Hadar and Rebecca had come running, the girls were crying and every Guard had gone on high alert.
Rebecca had tried to convince Grim that this was normal, that Lisa would be fine. He refused to believe her until the results from Hadar’s portable unit came back normal.
His arms had trembled as Grim had carefully lifted Lisa from the cleansing room floor and settled her back into their bed. It had still taken him several hours to completely calm, to truly believe she would be fine. It had taken nearly a week for the rest of the household.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
“I’m fine.” She reassured him holding out a hand. “Now answer the question.” Lisa was always amazed at how her strong warrior got so flustered whenever she teased him.
Grim took her hand and pulled her close, sharing his body heat with her as he quietly closed the girls’ door. “They fell asleep during the third story.” He told her gruffly, his cheeks darkening. Grim, the most feared warrior in the Tornian Empire, the male all others cowered before, was defenseless when it came to his daughters.
Shaking her head, Lisa laughed softly as she wrapped her arms around his waist sinking into his warmth. He was such a worthy male her Grim. She thanked Mark and the Goddess every day for bringing him into her life.
Propping her chin on his chest, she looked up at him. “I love you Grim.”
Looking down at his Lisa, Grim saw that love shining from her golden brown eyes. Eyes she gave to their daughters, was it any wonder he could deny them nothing.
“And I you, my Lisa.” Leaning down he captured her lips in a deep kiss. “Come my Lisa.” He murmured against her lips. “Let us rest.”
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Lisa let Grim lead her into their chamber but instead of turning towards their bed, she walked to the couch that had been angled in front of the roaring fire so she could see the glowing tree in front of the windows, removing her robe she sat.
“Come Grim, sit.” She patted the spot next to her as she reached for the goblet of wine she had poured before going in search of him.
Grim slowly moved and sat next to her but instead of reaching for the goblet he reached for her feet, placing them in his lap.
“You need to take better care of yourself my Lisa.” He told her.
“I’m fine Grim.” She reassured him.
“You have slippers.” He reminded her, frowning at the coolness of her feet.
“Yes.” She gave him a mischievous smile. “But I like the way you keep them warm better.”
Grim just grunted at her as he rubbed her feet until they are rosy and warm. Sometimes his Lisa made no sense to him, just like her tree. His eyes moved to what she called a ‘Christmas’ tree standing in front of the windows.
‘Why would she want that?’
He thought to himself. Lisa had insisted they have it. A
and she hadn’t let them just cut it down either, oh no, that would have been too easy for his Lisa. She had Reeder, the warrior in charge of the gardens, dig it up, wrap its roots, and place it in a pot so it could be watered before it was brought up.