Interview with an Aetherii

Miriliel the Burnished, along with his friend, Janarnavriel the Noir, are the heroes of my hot fantasy menage, Tailspin. [Read an excerpt.] It's taken some doing, believe me, but I've managed to persuade Mirry to leave his research (and Fledge and Jan) for long enough to answer readers' questions. Enjoy - I certainly did! Well, until just before the end... *sigh*


By reading on, you are signifying that you are over 18 years of age.

Tailspin

Denise:
Miriliel the Burnished and I are sitting in my modest, yet businesslike study. I have a good Australian red and delicious nibblies and a stool for our distinguished guest. I've also locked the cat in the kitchen at the other end of the house. The yowling sounds very faint from way back there. And after a (very short) battle with my conscience, I dragged in the bed from the spare room and changed the sheets. (Hope springs eternal.)

*clearing throat* So, Miriliel, I'd like to welcome you on behalf of all readers everywhere, especially the female ones.


Miriliel the Burnished:
Thank you, ah. What's the correct form of address? Lady Denise?

Denise:
*blushing* Oh yes, that would be lovely. Now, are you comfortable? Enough room for the wings? Whoopsie, just watch the wobbly bookcase, the one with my awards on it. And would you like me to hold your tail? I'd be perfectly happy to do that for you.

Miriliel the Burnished:
No, no, not necessary. I have it under control. Sorry, did you say something? Mmm. *sipping wine* This is excellent.

Denise:
Glad you like it. *rustling papers in an officious kind of way* I have a number of questions here from readers, and a lot of them are about Jan. Everyone wants to be certain he's well and happy, not to mention Fledge. How are they? We've all been so worried.

Miriliel the Burnished:
What a minute. *frowning* Lady Denise, I thought I was interviewing you. And after I've finished with you, I'd like to talk to your cat. All data's precious. I'm planning a new work, the Encyclopedia of Other Worlds. *beaming*

Denise:
That's not quite what--

Miriliel the Burnished:
It's such an exciting concept. Never been done before. Well, not by a scholar of any note. I don't count that Asimov fellow.

Denise:
But what about Fledge and Jan? Especially Jan, the poor darling. Allisa wants to know if he brought someone back with him, a man or a woman?

Miriliel the Burnished:
Someone else? I hope you're joking. *growling* An Aetherii Mating flight is as binding as a sacred oath. Rip the Veil, I'd strangle him with his own tail! Anyway, they're both fine. Now about this encyclopedia. Pindar of Sere says--

Denise:
Bugger Pindar of Sere! *through gritted teeth* WHAT. ABOUT. JAN?!!

Miriliel the Burnished:
What? Oh Jan got himself sorted out in the end. Sat on a mountain with the highhunters for a couple of months.
*draining glass and holding it out for a refill* Thanks.
Mind you, he only made it in the nick of time. We were pretty desperate, Fledge and I. *shaking head* If he hadn't returned when he did, I would have gone after him and dragged him back by the-- Dragged him back, anyhow. *growling again*

Denise:
*fascinated* Really? I imagine it was a touching reunion.

Miriliel the Burnished:
*grinning broadly* Oh yes, very very touching. Lots of touching. Are you all right, Lady Denise? You're quite pink.

Denise:
*faintly* Wait, let me top up the glasses. Oh heavens, my hands are shaking. *blinking innocently* Perhaps if you supported my wrist with your tail?

Miriliel the Burnished:
If you like. There. Is that better?

Denise:
Ooooooh. So silky. Tell me *gulping wine* more.

Miriliel the Burnished:
Just loosen the grip a trifle, Lady D. May I call you Lady D.? *closing eyes and purring* Mmm, the stroking's really very pleasant. You have good hands.

Denise:
*absently* Call me anything you like. God, your tail feels gorgeous. So, what happened when Jan came back?

Mirry:
What do you think? *laughing* We went to bed. For three glorious days and nights. With a couple of Mating Flights in the middle. Rip the Veil, it was absolutely fabulous, especially when we tied Fledge to the railings of the balcony with the featherpearls, and then we--
Hmmpf. Yes, well. *stretching, spreading wings* Oh shit! Sorry about that, Lady D. Was it an important award?

Denise:
*gasping for air* No, just my first royalty check. I had it framed because it was too small to cash.

Mirry:
Oh pardon me, I didn't realize you were royal. *peering* You don't look especially aristocratic, if you don't mind me saying so.

Denise:
I have a noble soul, okay? *knocking back another glass* Here, have an oyster.
Now, on to the next set of questions. A number of readers have asked about your encyclopedia. Ingrid wants to know how long it took to write. Kayelle Allen says, "The Great Encyclopedia is quoted in Tailspin as if it was already written, yet you are writing it as you go, from what the story implies. Does this mean it is always in progress? If so, when will it be finished?" And Jenny asks how you got interested in writing such a thing. As she points out, it is a very large undertaking and must consume a great deal of time that could be spent in more pleasurable pursuits.

Mirry:
*smiling* Ah, I love a woman with an inquiring mind. Lady Ingrid, I truly believe the encyclopedia will be my life's task, so that means Lady Kayelle is correct. It's a work in progress.
As for Lady Jenny's question - what a scholarly approach, by the way - I was curious even as a child, always wanting to know how things work and why they work. I can't bear slipshod thinking, I'm afraid, so I guess that makes me an intellectual snob. *shrugging with a rustle of wings* Veil-it, too damn bad.
I always have a number of projects on the go, my guide books for example. They're a nice little earner and I'm editing Fledge's Collected Tales of the Fair. I can give you a bibliography if you'd like, Lady D. And I'm still working for Jan as an intelligencer. The fringe benefits are...enormous.
So research is one of my greatest passions, but only one. The pleasures of the flesh, for instance. *rubbing hands down thighs in tight breeches* Mmm.
*wicked grin* What do you think of the pleasures of the flesh, Lady D.?

Denise:
*gurgling* Uh, I'm all in favor. Let me feed you one of these asparagus spears. Open wide. Your mouth, I mean.

Mirry:
Delicious. Oh sorry, didn't mean to lick your fingers like that, Lady D.

Denise:
*draining her glass in one gulp* No problem. Goodness, ish it hot in here or what?

Mirry:
It is, rather. Do you mind if I take my shirt off? The Aetherii see no shame in exposing the body, but I wouldn't wish to offend. Different cultural sensibilities, you know.

Denise:
*shrieking* Do I MIND? *recovering* No, no, go right ahead, Mirry dear. Make yourshelf comfortable.
*long pause* Ohhhhhh.

Mirry:
Next question, Lady D. Lady D.? Hullo?

Denise:
*muttering* Holy hell. *fumbling for papers* Question. Right. *clearing throat* Kirra Pierce wants to know what effects your fame has had on your life since the incredible success of your encyclopedia. Have you been approached to be the shpokes...*stumbling*...spokesAetherii for any products, for instance?

Mirry:
Funny you should mention that, Lady Kirra. *frowning* I've had the most extraordinary number of requests for personal tutoring, one-on-one. Mainly from women, but a few men as well. And since I've been here, some fellow asked me if I'd be on something called Big Brother. I have no idea what he's talking about, but I wasn't impressed. He had a face like a bunrat with indigestion.

Denise:
Kirra sent a sample of her Peerless Plumage Oil. Would you like to try it? I'll help.

Mirry:
Your eyes have gone all bright and beady. *diplomatically* Perhaps later. *pause* Ah, Lady D.?

Denise:
Yesh, dear?

Mirry:
You won't be able to stuff my tail down the front of that dress. It won't fit.

Denise:
I'll undo a button. *squeaking* Oooh, that tickles! *muttering to self* Keep breathing, breathing is good. Speaking of tails...

Mirry:
Uh-huh. Is there more wine?

Denise:
Here you go, shweetie. Julianne wants to know what you can do with a tail and Allisa's question is how versatile is it. Specif-if-if-ically.

Mirry:
*raising brows* I covered all that in my encyclopedia.

Denise:
*wailing* But Mirreeee--

Mirry:
*hastily* All right, all right. Stop with the noise. *sitting back to lecture* The Aetherii tail is very strong and flexible. It can be used as a weapon, a tool, a flight stabilizer, even a means of expression.

Denise:
*pouting* We already knew that. What else can it do? *whispering* You know.

Mirry:
Oh, I see. *peering into glass* Lady D., this is a little...ah...personal.

Denise:
Please, Mirry.

Mirry:
*smiling* You beg very prettily, you know that? Had you thought of--? Never mind. All right - a tail is very useful for...mmm...self-pleasure.

Denise:
*licking lips* Go on.

Mirry:
*grinning* Also for pleasuring others. Undo another button and I'll demonstrate.

Denise:
*fumbling with buttons* Yesh, yesh. Ooooh... *whimpering* Oh. My. God. I see what you mean.

Mirry:
Should I stop? Your eyes have crossed.

Denise:
Shit, no! I mean, no sacrifice ish too great for my readers.

Mirry:
A tail can also be used to bring a woman the ultimate pleasure. You understand?

Denise:
*wriggling* You're going to - *gulping* - demonstrate?

Mirry:
Sorry, chick. I have to fly tonight. Can't get the tail all wet. What was that?

Denise:
*sulking* Nothing. *brightening, muttering under breath* Wait, wait, there's an alternative. Hang in there, woman.

Mirry:
Come on, Lady D. *coaxing* Cheer up. What are these pink things? Fruits? They remind me of nipples.

Denise:
*still sulking* Shtrawberries. You dip them in the melted chocolate there.

Mirry:
*licking a choc-coated strawberry very, very slowly* Gods, that's amazing. *chewing* Almost as good as sex. Chocolate, you say? *running tongue over lips*

Denise:
*suddenly inspired* Let me help you. *knocking dish with elbow* Oh heavens, how clumshy of me. Now there's chocolate all over your breeches.

Mirry:
*sighs* You can't hold your liquor, can you, Lady D.?

Denise:
*murmuring* Oh, I don't know.

Mirry:
Now I'll have to take them off.

Denise:
*making wide eyes* No, really?

Mirry:
*severely* Yes, really. Ask me another question while I do it. These are a little tight.

Denise:
*clenching fists in lap so as not to grab* Sure. Little Lamb Lost asks you to share a tale that Fledge or Jan would find too ticklish to tell.
Oh, oh. OH! Holy hell!

Mirry:
*folding neatly* You look very strange. You're not going to faint, aren't you?

Denise:
Nnngh! *rolling tongue back into mouth* Maybe. Better hold onto me. The room's shpinning. All that wine.

Mirry:
*leaping to comply* Veil-it, you're a funny one. I'll carry you over to the bed, shall I?

Denise:
Oh yesh, darling. Please. *clutching* There really isn't any hair on your body, is there? Just acres and acres of smooth, golden skin and...feathers. So shmooth. *gurgling*

Mirry:
There you go. Move over. A ticklish story? *chuckling* There was the time we took Fledge to Feolin to find her family and Trey kept insisting on calling her by her real names - all three of them.

Denise:
*foggily* Her names? Why? Hic! Oh, 'scuse me. *covering mouth with hand*

Mirry:
Turns out her father really was a Feolin prince after all, the Queen's brother, so Trey's her cousin. He's a shocking tease. Good man, though. Tough.

Denise:
*dreamily* Oh, I know, I know. Heck, I nearly forgot! Ingrid and Sinna want to know if you're planning on having children and if so, when.

*silence*

Mirry?

Mirry:
*speaking slowly* Sorry, Lady D. It's a bit of a painful subject. There's no recorded offspring from the mating of an Aetherii and one of the Grounded. Not thus far. If it happens, it happens, but we always knew, so. *shrugging* Either of us would be proud to be father, so it doesn't matter who... Anyhow - *forcing a smile* - trying's a lot of fun.

Denise:
*sniffling* Oh, that's sho shad.

Mirry:
Hey, don't cry for me, little one. I've got Fledge and Jan. How could I not be happy? Come and cuddle under this wing.

Denise:
Oh, all right, if it makes you feel better. Wrap your tail around my waist, so I can shtroke, I mean stroke, it. *burps in a genteel fashion* Here'sh a good one. Clynax asks, does your vast knowledge help you or hurt you when it comes to meeting the overall needs of two people that you so clearly love?

Mirry:
*raising brows* Hmm, now that's a challenging one, Lady Clynax. Let me see. I have to admit, sometimes it gets in the way, you know? *biting his lip* Just between you and me, it doesn't necessarily follow that intellectual brilliance ensures perception or sensitivity to the needs of others. Yes, I know. *frowning* I found it hard to credit myself at first. But I do my best.
I suspect Fledge finds my scholarly preoccupations amusing on occasion. And I know for certain that Jan does. On the other hand, *brightening* they both love to assist in the practical aspects of my research on sex and sexuality.

Denise:
*muttering* I bet. Me too, schweetie, me too. Hic! This one's from Beth. What's the most erotic thing that has ever happened to you? And Allisa wants to know what first attracted you to Fledge. Was it just her innocence? Or something more?

Mirry:
*smiling* Ah Fledge, sweet Fledge. *thinking hard* Yes, it was her innocence, the beauty of her soul. *flushing a little* Sorry, if that sounds stupid. *clearing throat* But also her sheer guts. And brains. Have to love a woman who can argue me to a standstill. Not to mention the prettiest tits I've ever seen and the most kissable mouth and the most biteable ass and--
You're moaning out loud, Lady D. What are you staring at?
Oh, that. *chuckling*
Can't help it, I'm afraid. Just the thought of her.

Denise:
*lifting her heavy head from Mirry's chest to peer more closely* I'm going to die. Any minute, I'm going to freakin' die. Hic! Bloody wine, just when...
*making a huge effort* And the most erotic thing?

Mirry:
*smiling widely* No contest. My Mating Flight with Fledge and Jan. And knowing I can do it again, any time I can talk them into it. Which isn't exactly difficult.

Denise:
My head's shpinning. Sinna wants to know if your story is over. *sobbing* Tell me it isn't, please, please, Mirry!

Mirry:
You know it isn't, you foolish woman. I'm going to be happy forever in readers' minds and never grow old. I'll always be glowing, all perfect and sexy, part of what Fledge calls the magic of story.

Denise:
*mistily* Ooooh, that'sh boooful. *blinking sleepily*

Mirry:
*looking down his body* I think I'd better take this home *grinning wickedly* where I can put it to good use.

Denise:
Lasht question. Hic! Promishe.

Mirry:
All right. And then I have a gift for you.

Denise:
Can you give it to me while I'm lying down?
*making an heroic effort for readers* Joey W. Hill asks, "What's your favorite fantasy involving Fledge? And Jan? And Fledge and Jan?"

Mirry:
That's three questions.

Denise:
Joey's a multi, multi - *triumphantly* - multitasker!

Mirry:
*grinning evilly* Never mind, the answer's the same. My ultimate fantasy is to tie Jan down with ropes of featherpearls, so he can't move a muscle. And then - *taking a deep breath* - oh yes.

Denise:
*weakly* And then?

Mirry:
*showing his teeth* I get to do to him what he's done to me. But I make him beg for it until he's hoarse. And Fledge gets to make him scream. What she can do with her mouth is incredible. *grinning* Did you know I went through the drawer next to your bed? For research purposes, of course.

Denise:
*moaning* Nooo...

Mirry:
*nodding* And I found a lot of interesting toys, toys you can't get on Phoenix. Perfect to spring on Jan as a surprise. *chuckling* But don't worry, Lady D., I left you the bright green one - *shuddering* - and I'm giving you something in return.

Denise:
*mumbling* Musht...shtay...awake.

Mirry:
*reaching for shirt and breeches* Where did it go? Ah, here you are. A short string of featherpearls, from Jan and me, with our love.

Denise:
*weeping* Shweet...sho shweet.

Mirry:
They're especially big ones, because they have a particular purpose. Can you guess what it is? *winking*

Denise:
Ummmm. Mirr...eeeeee... Mmmm...

Mirry:
I'll show you if you like.

Denise:
*snoooork*

Mirry:
Oh. *shrugging* Strange woman. Shame, could have been fun. *tugging on the breeches very carefully and grabbing the shirt* Now, where's that cat?


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