The Last Sorceress
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by Marguerite Arotin
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: She played the game never expecting it be real or deadly. But when Janet Lind becomes her sorceress alter-ego can she fight to protect her son and Dazzart the Bold, the sexy ogre who brought her to his world? Dazzart finds himself drawn to Janet in both human and sorceress form. Yet he knows that nothing come from his attraction to her because of his brutal heart and hideous form. How can a sorceress and an ogre live happily ever after in the shadow of an evil sorceress and her demonic horde when more than passion is on the line?
eBook Publisher: MLR Press, LLC/Passion in Print Press,
eBookwise Release Date: December 2011
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [424 KB]
Reading time: 282-395 min.
"No," Dazzart whispered, lifting the broken body of his mother from the smoking stones outside of the Cave of Torture. The scent of sulfur made his eyes water and confirmed his worse fears. "No, you will not die. You cannot leave me." Ogres weren't supposed to cry, but his voice trembled all the same.
He pushed back a strand of her bloodstained golden hair, and she fluttered her eyelids open. Praise be to the God of War, she lives. "Dazzart..." She coughed and blood sputtered from her mouth.
"Tell me what to do, Mother. Show me how to heal you." He stroked her cheek, so soft and fragile, unlike his own rough, green skin. "Shall I find Eolande?"
"No, not even the elixir can... It's my time, son. You must accept this."
He clenched his teeth. "I'll kill her. I found Father inside the cavern. I swear Adieal won't breathe much longer because of what she did to you both."
Her cold hand caressed his cheek and he shivered, missing her usual warm, gentle touch. "My son..." His mother, once the most powerful and beautiful sorceress in Carnitha, smiled. She had a chipped tooth and crimson-stained lips, but Dazzart had never seen a lovelier smile. "You cannot destroy Adieal alone."
"I have the armies of Carnitha on my side. I might not rule my homeland, but I do run the military."
"I know. Your father and I were proud when... Son, I cannot hold on much longer but I had a vision...must..."
"Tell me, Mother. What is this vision?" Her second sight had never failed. She'd foretold Dazzart's rise to Tribal Leader when he was a small ogreling.
"A sorceress with a good heart shall vanquish the evil from Carnitha. Find her, Dazzart. She will destroy Adieal. Promise me..." She didn't finish. Her eyes rolled back and her body fell limp. He closed her eyelids, kissed her forehead, and placed his mother on the ground.
A tear slid from his eye. He was a strong ogre, but the loss of his fair sorceress mother brought tears to his eyes. "I don't know how I'll find her, or where, but I vow to you, I shall find the sorceress. It will become my life's mission."
Dazzart's battle cry echoed as he entered the cave, found the body of his father, and carried him out. He placed his ogre father's body beside his mother and slammed his fist into a large boulder, splintering the rock into two pieces. Rage flooded his body, and he desired nothing more than to break every bone in Adieal's body. Alas, he knew better. Only magic could destroy the evil sorceress who had murdered his parents. He would find her, this kind-hearted woman, even if he had to cross the Great Divide to do so.
* * * *
Janet sighed as her son, a grumpy teen with bushy hair and big, brown eyes, attempted to make his way to the front door. She expected to enjoy some alone time with Spencer, her flesh and blood. After all, Saturday was her one day off. Although, since dust bunnies dotted the grungy carpet, she knew her housework needed to be done. She sighed as she stepped in front of the doorway and impeded Spencer's way. Things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand with the housework if it wasn't for Spencer and his damned Ogre Nation computer game. She had created her own kickass sorceress character, and now all she wanted was to spend some quality time with her son, his elf avatar, Nidhogg, and her sorceress avatar Maurelle.
"Where do you think you're going?" She raised her brow as she awaited Spencer's reply.
"Um, I had plans with Dad."
"Not going to work, son-of-mine. You know your father's in Vegas with Stacy." Stacy the white trash slut. Oops, did I just think that?
For Spencer's sake, Janet tried her best to act civilly towards the woman who'd broken up her marriage. She'd always greet Stacy with a smile on the occasions when they met. Still, sometimes those evil little thoughts crept in.
"Don't you want to play Ogre Nation with your mother? I thought you loved that game."
"I do. Look Ma, I sorta got an invite for this Ogre Convention and Online tournament. Don't even think about asking if you can go. I'm meeting a friend there and--"
"And what is this friend's name?"
Spencer only stared at her. After looking her son up and down, Janet realized he had dressed a little nicer than normal. New, black Levi's replaced the usual torn jeans. Instead of his faded gray Nike sweatshirt, he wore a new red and black Puma sweatshirt. He even smelled nice. She could have sworn he was wearing some kind of Calvin Klein cologne but couldn't put her finger on the exact kind.
She flashed her son a knowing grin. "Is this friend a girl?"
He shrugged. "Maybe."
"Don't play games with me, Spencer. You wouldn't be all dressed up if you were just meeting Mike, Kevin, or Garret at the convention. Why didn't you tell me? You know I love the game too."
"I...um...I'm going to miss my bus if you don't let me go."
"Where is this convention, Spencer? Is it in Dayton or Columbus? You'd have to take countless buses to get there."
"It's in Cleveland."
Janet frowned and crossed her arms over her chest. "You expect to take a bus to someplace that's four hours away?
"Kevin said there's a charter bus leaving from Dayton. I was going to walk to his house and--"
"No, you're not taking the bus. I'm coming with you and driving."
"Ma, the convention and tournament are by invitation only. Only the best players get invited."
"Listen, Mister, you're the one who got your mother addicted to the game." She jabbed her finger into Spencer's chest, hoping to make her point. "If it wasn't for my need to connect with my only son, the dishes would be done regularly, I'd be able to make real dinner instead of Stouffer's frozen lasagna, and the carpet we're standing on wouldn't look like a dirt volcano erupted. I'm coming with you and I'm driving. I'll use your invitation to get in."
"Fine," Spencer huffed as he rolled his eyes. "Let's go then. I don't want to be late."
Spencer pulled out his iPod and headset the minute they entered Janet's trusty Mustang. She sighed, wondering why her only child chose to listen to a blaring racket. No doubt to drown my voice out. Janet was a child of the eighties and loved the music. Spencer was a child of the millennium and the ear-splitting noise he claimed rocked.
Janet turned to Spencer. "So have you heard anything about Ogre Quest's upcoming release? I saw the game trailer on YouTube last week. Looks pretty cool."
She tried again. "Hey, how many of your friends from school are supposed to be at the tournament? I ran into Mrs. Finnegan at the bank. She said her son's in trouble. Did Kevin mention anything about being grounded?"
Spencer stared blankly at his iPod screen, watching some bizarre thrash metal video without acknowledging his mother.
"Okay fine, you know what...I was just trying to talk to you. I mean, you used to tell me everything. Now I don't even know how your day went or who you hang around with. So much for attempting to be an involved mother."
She pulled on to the freeway and wondered if Spencer acted this way when his father took him for the weekends. Probably not. He'd talk to his father for hours. Her ex probably knew all about the girl Spencer was meeting at the convention.
Janet opened her window to allow some fresh air into the car when they hit a traffic jam on I-71. The scent of fresh-cut grass filled her car from landscape crews mowing the roadside lawns. A monarch butterfly landed on the car window and flew away when Janet moved the car a few inches forward. Once upon a time, she used to go for picnics in the park with Spencer and Dave on days like this.
She smiled, recalling how Dave removed his glasses to play catch with Spencer, even though he couldn't see two inches in front of him without them. After playing catch, they'd dig into a bucket of KFC.
The picnic days dwindled when her ex began working longer and longer hours. They ended when Dave came home on one day with lipstick on his collar, screaming about how he wouldn't have cheated if she hadn't been so damned frigid and insecure.
A car honked behind her, bringing her back to the present day. "Yeah, I know. I'm going," she muttered as she hit the gas. Spencer rolled his eyes, and Janet decided she was better off not understanding what he'd muttered.
Traffic in downtown Cleveland bit the big one, and the fact that the Indians were in town only made matters worse. Impatient people waiting in long rows of cars lined the exit for Ontario Street. Sunlight glimmered off the black Lincoln in front of her, and Janet wished she could get out of her car and bask in the glow. Ah, well. If sitting in this stupid traffic jam meant spending quality time with her son, and getting to meet the girl he got all dressed up for, then she could stand the claustrophobia for a little while.
At last, traffic finally started moving and Janet thanked God she wouldn't have to be stuck in her car with a sullen teen for much longer. She pulled on to Lakeside Avenue and then into the convention hall parking garage. As she neared the gate, Janet hoped she had the two dollars for parking. These days, she mostly relied on her bank card. It was rare she held cash in her hands, except at work, since she handled money all day long at the bank.
She nudged her son. "Got any cash on you, kiddo?"
He removed his headset. "What?"
"Money. I need two dollars for parking."
"Don't you have some change in the ashtray?"
"Sure, I forgot about that. Thanks."
He put his headset back on his ears without replying. Janet sighed as she rifled through the ashtray and pulled out eight quarters.
Finally, she found a parking spot and walked through the lower entrance of the hall with Spencer beside her. A large banner with the spiked club shield of Carnitha, the kingdom of ogres in the games, hung over the front door. All the major characters were pictured beside the shield. Dazzart, the ogre Tribal Leader, grasped a large spiked club. His brawny green body dared any intruder to cross. Ogre Queen Lilania and King Jerard sat on their thrones. Even the enemy characters were there. Janet shivered as she looked into the cold black eyes of Adieal, the enemy of all the sorceresses. In this picture, she stood behind a swirling purple vortex, her sword raised high above her head. Janet had yet to defeat her. In fact, she had killed Maurelle, Janet's character, twice.
Spencer shook his head as she shuddered in fear. "She's not real, Ma. Come on, let's go inside. I want to see if I can find Anita."
Janet nudged her son. "Ah, your girlfriend?"
"She's just a friend, Mom. You know Gilraen Elenzar, the elf barmaid who works at the Drunken Duck, right?"
"Yeah, she's the one whose boobs you're always staring at." Janet gasped, realizing she had spoken her thoughts aloud. Strike one, she'd insisted on going. Strike two--she'd mortified her only son. She only had one strike left today. Maybe it would be best if she kept her mouth shut.
Spencer's cheeks flushed as he clenched his fists. "Please don't talk so loud, Mother. God, you... Look, I think Gilraen is hot. What guy wouldn't? Anyway, Gilraen is Anita's character. I met her while we were playing together at a library by Dad's house. She's a nice girl, but we're only friends."
Then why'd you get all dressed if you're only friends? She didn't dare ask her son aloud. Janet knew she'd already embarrassed Spencer enough for one day.
They followed the crowd inside. Spencer handed a pretty girl with long, black hair and vivid green eyes his invitation. He eyed her sparkly purple bikini and flowing fairy wings and smiled.
"So, Eolande, where should we visit first?"
Eolande? How did Spence know which costume the girl wore? "How often have you played this game, Spence?"
"Eolande came to the aid of our party a few weeks ago while you were at work. She gives you the lifeforce elixir if you run into problems. She only comes to you if you get something like one hundred thousand quest points." His voice took a real know-it-all tone, and it bothered the hell out of her.
The girl dressed as Eolande nodded. "I would have preferred to dress as Queen Lilana, but I heard that Glenn Bowden's daughter is coming dressed as her. Eolande's fun and all, but my thighs look too big in this teeny little costume."
Spence grinned and looked down. "I think they look just fine."
Janet rolled her eyes. Come on, Spencer. We're here to meet your girlfriend, remember?
A faint blush colored the fairy girl's cheeks. She scribbled something on a piece of paper as she spoke to Spencer.
"Um, thanks. Let's see here. I'll give you a schedule. Mr. Bowden from Ogre Quest Enterprises is scheduled to speak first at eleven. I'm certain he'll have some cool things to say about how he developed the game. The playoffs begin at noon in the network room down the hall. There are a limited number of computers, so make sure you sign up early. You can also visit the booths. I heard that the guy dressed as the elf over at booth twelve has a movie petition he wants to send to Hollywood. There's all sorts of Ogerite merchandise on sale too. Here are your maps and schedules."
She smiled and winked at Spencer as she handed him two sheets of paper. Spencer glanced at the sheet of paper, smiled at the girl, folded it up, and placed it in his pocket. As they walked away, Janet's curiosity got the better of her. She asked to see Spencer's schedule.
"You have your own."
"She wrote something to you before she gave it to you, didn't she?"
"Um...no, she didn't."
"I can tell when you're lying, mister."
Spencer took after his father and tugged at his arms when he lied. "What is it? Did she give you her name, phone number, cell phone number, e-mail, or all of the above?"
"Her name is Lissa," he grumbled, "and she gave me her cell phone number."
Janet threw her hands up in the air. "She's too old for you. She looks like she's seventeen, and you're only fifteen. Plus we're supposed to meet your girlfriend."
"Anita isn't my girlfriend." Spence clenched his fists. "She's just a friend. I don't have any girlfriends because when I wanted to ask Laurie Phillips to the homecoming dance, you embarrassed me by picking up the phone and telling me that I was too young to go out on a date."
Janet had forgotten about that. She supposed the shock, after picking up the phone to call the ex and overhearing Spencer talking to a girl, had made her blurt out something she didn't mean to say. Spencer was a nice-looking kid, and she'd known that day would come. It was just that...well, the fact that she had a son old enough to date made her feel old. Oh, come on now, girl, thirty-six isn't old. God, she needed a social life. Then maybe she'd stay out of her son's.
Too embarrassed to say anything else, she wandered beside her son in silence. Third strike, no more chances to spend quality time with her only son. Janet sighed as she veered off and found a booth with guidebooks for the first and second Ogre Nation games, Ogre Nation: King Jerard's Curse and Ogre Nation: the treasure of Carnitha.
The guy at the booth looked just like King Jerard. He wore an ogre costume with grayish green latex skin, a gold crown around his large head, and a brown fur cloak. She stifled a giggle, thinking the ogre get-up made him look ridiculous.
"Doesn't that costume get a little warm?" she asked, handing him her credit card to purchase the guidebook to the first game.
"It does, but I don't mind. King Jerard is my favorite character, and Mr. Bowden insists that all the vendors come in costume. It's part of the agreement for booking the booth."
"Thanks," she told the mighty ogre king as he handed her the guidebook in a plastic bag.
She glanced around, and sure enough, all the vendors were dressed up. Janet counted ten King Jerards, seven Queen Lilianas, five ogress Princess Bannicks, six Adieals, and five Zoemith the Wickeds. There were quite a few vendors dressed in various unknown ogre, elf, sorceress, fairy, and dwarf costumes. She assumed they were dressed as the characters they played in the game.
But it wasn't just the vendors. No, there were King Jerards, Queen Lilianas, elves, evil and good sorcerers and sorceresses wandering around the convention hall. She suddenly felt a little out of place in her plain black T-shirt and blue jeans.
Janet walked over to the booth that Lissa pointed out as having the Ogre Nation movie petition and smiled at the kid manning the booth. He was a little older than her son and dressed as a simple country elf with light blond hair. Thick, Coke-bottle glasses made his brown eyes bug out, and she wondered why he didn't just give in and get contact lenses.
"You really think this could make Hollywood interested in doing a movie?" She flipped through the thousands of signatures.
"Maybe. There have been rumors of a movie floating around the net for about a year now. I just hope this will get things moving."
An Ogre Nation movie wouldn't be a bad thing. It would probably make Glenn Bowden very happy, as the movie rights would bring in more money for him. She signed the petition as Spencer walked up with a cute auburn haired girl who wore a black Ogre Nation T-shirt.
"We added your name to the playoff that's taking place after Mr. Bowden speaks," Spencer said.
Janet guessed he wasn't too angry with her if he'd signed her up. She only hoped she wouldn't embarrass her son again. The girl standing next to Spencer grinned and said, "I'm Anita. Spencer has told me a lot about you. I hope you'll be a member of our party when we play. We could use a good sorceress."
She shook Anita's hand. "I'll be happy to be a member."
Anita was a heck of a lot cuter than the Eolande girl at the registration counter. Silver, wire-rimmed glasses framed her soft blue eyes. She had a sweet smile too. Janet adored her instantly.
"We should go find a seat. Mr. Bowden will probably start speaking any minute," Spencer said as he pointed to the stage at the back of the convention hall.
They managed to find seats in the front row. One by one, the folding chairs filled up with humans, ogres, fairies, elves, dwarves, sorcerers, and sorceresses. The curtain rose and revealed a backdrop of the gilded forest and a figure dressed as King Jerard. Janet wondered if he was the guy from the guidebook booth, but then glanced over and saw the vendor Jerard eagerly counting the money he had earned.
The Jerard on stage growled into the microphone in front of him. "Esteemed Ladies, Gentlemen, Ogres, Fairies, Elves, and Dwarves, it is my honor to introduce the creator of our world. Please give a round of applause to Mr. Glenn Bowden."
The crowd went nuts as applause, hoots, and whistles filled the room. It was like they greeted a rock star when Mr. Bowden walked on to the stage. He bowed and waved to the audience as if he was really enjoying himself.
He's actually sort of a cute geek. Janet had seen photos of him on his website but never noticed how tall he was or how gorgeous his eyes were. She had a theory on geeks. There were two different types. The cute ones looked nice on the outside, but once they started talking, the nerd side shined through. Her ex was an average nerdy geek when they met and turned into a cute one after he lost weight and had his vision corrected. The problem with Dave was that his ego grew once he went from a regular geek to a handsome, but conceited, intelligent man.
She smiled as she looked Glenn over. He had golden-brown eyes, perfectly groomed ash blonde hair, and was dressed in a nice brown suit. Most of the pictures on the Ogre Quest Enterprises Website pictured him wearing a dumpy gray sweat suit that did not accentuate his sturdy build. When he took the microphone, she noticed no wedding ring.
Janet sighed as she flicked her long, brown bangs out of her eyes. For a moment, she wished she had Maurelle's tanzanite eyes, velvet hair, and firm bosom. A woman like Maurelle would command the attention of a man like Glenn. A dull woman with mousy brown hair, gray eyes, and fat thighs would never get a second glance.
When he spoke, Janet loved the tone of his voice. Very smooth and masculine. Okay, he had a sexy voice, and he was cute, smart, and rich. Why wasn't he wearing a wedding band? Maybe he's divorced or a widower. Ah, cut it out, Janet. He's way out of your league. Stop ogling him and pay attention to what the man is saying.
"As always, it is an honor to be here. Being amongst those who love the game I created is always a pleasure. Thank you for making Ogre Nation the bestselling online game of the past five years."
He paced the stage as he talked, and Janet tilted her head to see if she could get a good view of his ass. Spencer muttered something under his breath about how he shouldn't have brought his mother.
"I heard that, child of mine," she whispered. "Just remember, you'll still need a lift home. I could leave you here."
"I could find a ride home. I think Kevin's here someplace."
"If his mother didn't ground him. I saw Mrs. Finnegan at the bank. Kevin stayed out too late on Thursday night."
That shut Spencer up, and Janet smirked because she was able to bask in the smooth voice of Mr. Bowden without any more interruptions from her son.
"Before we begin the Ogre Nation Playoff Tournament, does anyone have any questions?" the very nice looking, wealthy, and with any luck, single guy up on the stage asked.
The elf from the movie petition booth raised his hand, and Glenn pointed to him. "Is it true that there is a movie in the works?"
"The rights have been sold but we've yet to read a satisfactory script. All of us at Ogre Quest Gaming Enterprises want a magical script, one that can truly transport the moviegoer to the Kingdom of Carnitha. We have not found a screenwriter capable of doing so yet. Are there any other questions?"
A teenage boy dressed as a dwarf with a long, gray beard raised his hand. "When will the third Ogre Nation game be released?"
"It's still in the works. However, we hope to have a preview of the game in flash movie format soon. The title of the game will be Ogre Nation: The Last Sorceress, and the quests will deal with freeing the last of the mighty sorceresses from the lair of Adieal and Zoemith. Are there any other questions?"
Hold it, The Last Sorceress? Did that mean Janet wouldn't be able to play Maurelle in this new game? She nervously raised her hand.
Glenn looked her way, smiled, pointed at Janet, and the next thing she knew, King Jerard handed her a portable microphone. Normally, Janet hated public speaking, but the fact that her beloved Maurelle was in danger of dying off overrode her nerves. When she grabbed the microphone and stood up, her only child hid his head in his sweatshirt. Sorry to embarrass you yet again, kiddo.
"You call the game The Last Sorceress. Does this mean that the players can't play the sorceress avatars in the new game?"
To her surprise, Glenn's amber eyes brightened. She wondered what was going through his head. He didn't answer right away. Instead, he gave her a dazzling smile that revealed two dimples. Her heart melted into goo.
"As I said, the game is still in development. I had no idea that the sorceress character was still popular. We might be able to keep that particular avatar in the game."
Goose bumps raced down her spine as he raised his brow, and those yummy eyes looked her up and down. "Thank you for your question and your interest in the character. Can I ask your name?"
My name? Mister handsome multi-millionaire wanted to know her name? Somehow, she managed to squeak out, "It's Janet. Janet Lind."
"Ah, well thank you once again for your interest, Ms. Lind." Heat raced through her body when he flashed his perfect smile.
"Now without further ado, let the tournament begin. In the next room, we have two hundred and fifty networked computers. If you signed up, please check in with King Jerard at the door before you enter. I will preside over the game dressed as Dazzart the Bold. Please see me if you have any questions or computer issues while playing the game. Thank you one and all for coming, and I hope you enjoy the tournament and the rest of the convention."
The room erupted in applause. Janet finally caught a decent view of Mr. Multi-millionaire's very nice behind as he walked away. Nice and tight, just the way she liked her buns. She wondered how a computer geek found the time to work out. Eh, with that boatload of money he probably had a personal trainer. Oh, how she would love to be that personal trainer. He's gotta look great with his shirt off. I can see those muscles flexing... Stop it, Janet. You've got a game to play. You are not going to be able to concentrate when he walks by and you're daydreaming about what's underneath that ugly ogre costume.
She lined up behind Spencer and Anita at the door. When they got to the door, King Jerard asked what their real names were along with the avatar names.
"Spencer Marcus, Nidhogg Windhaven." The mighty ogre king looked at his list and crossed Spencer's name off.
Anita was next. "Anita Kenyon, Gilraen Elenzar."
And then it was her turn. "Janet Lind. Maurelle Windhaven."
The ogre king looked at his list, glanced at her, and asked, "May I see your invitation, please?"
"I came with my son. He did sign me up, didn't he?"
"You are on the signup list but not on our main list. May I please see your invitation?"
"Spence, show the king your invite."
"I told you not to come, Mother," Spence grumbled as he rummaged through his pocket.
"I don't need to see your son's invitation. I need to see yours."
"I don't have one. Spencer brought me as a guest. Guests should have every right to play too," she protested.
Someone dressed as Dazzart approached the king and pulled him away. When Dazzart winked with an amber eye, she knew he was Glenn. He's coming to my rescue? I have to talk to him after the tournament. Mmm, he's just so...
When the mighty ogre king returned, he grunted, "Mr. Bowden has allowed an exception for you to play, Ms. Lind. All three of you are free to enter."
The doors opened, and Spencer and Anita walked in. Janet glanced around the hall for Glenn before she entered. Many ogres crowded the red-carpeted aisles, but no sign of her ogre. She wanted to thank him for making an exception, but he was gone. She only hoped she could thank Glenn for his kindness once they got inside, and that she wouldn't do anything stupid. The last thing she needed was to run into Aideal first thing in the game and get killed off in front of the handsome game designer and CEO.