Back | Next


Excarix entered the presence of his queen with terror thrumming in his thorax. Like all queens Syaris was easily twice as large as he was, her pedipalps capable of severing his head from his body in one neat snip, her temperament such that this was an all too likely conclusion to any interview. Therefore the abject fear instinctive in a male of his species when approaching the most puissant female of the clan was greatly increased.

Over time he had, perforce, learned to ignore his feelings. But a private audience, like this one, arranged for a male of no consequence, like himself, strengthened his terror almost to the point of pain.

Yet no sign of his turmoil was apparent. He moved with solemn dignity, holding his pedipalps in a position of worshipful subservience.

Syaris seemed unaware of him as she idly stroked a writhing, silk wrapped bundle suspended from the ceiling. That she was not hungry was apparent to Excarix by scent. But not to the bound prey that mewled in terror as she tapped its cocoon to make it spin.

As he drew near to her desire grew in him and added its own rhythms to the disturbance within.

So beautiful, he thought as the power of her pheromones began to work on him.

It was not merely the influence of her scent that made him find her ravishing. By the standards of his species the young queen was indeed very lovely. The exquisite shape of her head at the end of her unusually long and graceful neck, the subtle shadings of her gleaming, reddish-brown body, the slender length of her legs, the charming placement of her eyes—especially the anterior dorsal pair, the “gates of the soul” as the poets put it—all this made her a bewitching sight.

At this point he would have found it very difficult to withdraw from her presence, even if he were actively threatened.

She wants me, he realized in dawning joy, and felt distant surprise. For he knew that she had been trained by her mother queen to have great control over the passion inducing secretions. The release of these particular pheromones implied permission to approach the queen and receive one of the highest honors a male could achieve.

The simple privilege of mating with a female so beautiful was worth aspiring to. But to deposit his seed with the queen! He had plans and hopes, of course he did, but there was no reason at this juncture for her to anticipate and agree to them. Even in his own somewhat arrogant estimation he had not earned such an honor.

And yet . . . by his own unmistakable reaction she was deliberately arousing him.

Excarix struggled to maintain his impassive appearance even as her scent caused his throat sac to swell with sperm. He struggled to resist the urge to stroke her slender body and to spin silk around her delicate limbs.

Excarix stopped at a respectful distance from the queen and lowered his fore-body submissively.

After a few more spins of her bundled prey she turned her gleaming eyes upon him.

“Yes?” she asked in a voice both musical and indifferent.

Excarix rose to a speaking position.

“It has begun, my queen,” he said, noting with dismay the lustful depth of his voice.

The queen’s chelicerae adopted a position of pleased amusement.

“Our forces are . . .” he said, his voice trailing off helplessly. He struggled to maintain his focus, to dispense his message with appropriate dignity.

“Come closer,” Syaris purred. “I would see you better.”

He approached, embarrassed to hear his breath hissing audibly. Inhibition slipped away like illusion. Without her permission he reached forward and stroked the delicate down on one of her legs.

She made a pleased, sighing sound. “Closer,” she invited.

With a nimble leap Excarix found himself upon her back, stroking her abdomen with all of his limbs. All thought of restraint was forgotten as his spinneret whipped back and forth, spinning strands of silk to bind her to him.

“Bold,” she cooed and fell onto her side, allowing him freer access to her larger body.

Disbelief prompted him to caution and he rose over her, slowly, so as not to startle. Carefully, carefully Excarix stroked her tender underside, moving ever closer to the dainty hairs of her genital opening, just below the juncture of her last pair of legs. Syaris hissed her pleasure and with this encouragement he moved forward. Using the very points of his clawed hand he traced the outline of the inviting, forbidden zone. Boldly he reached out and sank the sharp tip of one claw into the tender inner flesh.

The queen’s legs thrashed helplessly, then began to stroke his back as she encouraged him with a wordless murmuring. He continued to stroke and tickle her as he gathered a droplet of his sperm in his chelicerae. She opened to him and he leaned forward, intoxicated by her scent.

Excarix struck the wall with great force. For a stunned moment he feared that he might have cracked his chitin. Then she was upon him, his slender neck held in her powerful pincers.

“Ambitious!” she sneered, her chelicerae still showing pleased amusement. “But as yet you’ve done nothing to make you worthy of such an honor, have you, Third Minister?”

“I . . . I apologize for offending your majesty,” Excarix stammered. “I misunderstood.”

“Y-esss, you did misunderstand, Third Minister.” She straightened, lifting the smaller male by his neck. “You were being invited to give me pleasure. And you gave me precious little of it before you made a grab for what you wanted, didn’t you?”

“I was foolish, Majesty, I am truly sorry to have offended you.”

“You have done worse than offend me, worm.” She dropped him in contempt. “You have disappointed me.”

She slashed him several times with her tailwhip, each strike depositing a healthy dose of acid on his chitin. The humiliation was worse than the pain.

“Leave me,” she said, turning her back on him. “I don’t want to see you again until you are whole.”

Excarix slunk from the room, smoke writhing around the holes in his carapace. It would be months before he would be allowed into her glorious presence again. And he had not delivered his message.

Back | Next