CHAPTER 2

Rolling out of bed I padded downstairs to the kitchen. Bless the convenience of elemental superpowers, which I had used to turn the coffee machine on when my brain was awake enough to register daylight. My Aunts had sent me a custom built, copper plated, steam-punkesque Rocket espresso machine as a housewarming gift. I use Manuka Brother beans, imported from New Zealand. Holy shit those Kiwis know how to roast beans to delicately proportioned perfection.  I pulled a triple shot of espresso and skulled it while I steamed milk and ground beans for a latte. Filling up my matching copper Boduim keepcup, which had also been a gift and had been spelled to keep the coffee at the perfect temperature indefinitely. Feeling the caffeine kick in I grinned as I headed to the solarium with a peppy-er step.


My solarium is one of my favourite places in the world. A large, deep oval pool was carved from a huge chunk of lapis lazuli. The intensely coloured stone is streaked through with intense blues and purples and rests partially sunk into the ground from the very centre of the room. The pool takes up just over a third of the chamber curves up to form a natural sky shower. The closest edge starts at my hips with driftwood stairs leading up and a large driftwood step inside the tub. The step doubles as a bench when I feel like it. I can float in the middle of the tub with my limbs stretched out as long as I can make them without touching sides. I’m 5’9”. To give you an idea of the size I can dive in and do half laps if I felt so inclined.

The water for my bathing chamber is drawn directly from the lake with a special heating and filtration system I designed and installed. I hadn’t wanted anyone else involved in the construction of my home. The cottage had stood empty for almost a century and had barely been a standing structure when I had purchased the land several months ago. I had done all the renovations by myself. Well with the help of both science and a fair amount of elemental magic. No other human or supernatural imprints marred my territory. Oh yeah, apparently I am an alpha female Lykae and ever so slightly territorial. A fun fact I learnt a few years back (a story for another time).

The pool was always full as the water flowed from the lake flowing through the waterfall-like sky showerhead and cycled through the cottage’s plumbing with a portion going to water the plants on a timed sprinkler system in the dry season (we are part way through spring so it wasn’t required yet). The rest of the water is cleaned and returned to the lake using a natural charcoal and slightly magically enhanced filtering system which used the lake tides to power itself.

I stripped and dove into the clear water. As I rose back up to the surface I reached out with all of my sense connecting with each of the living things around me. To the brambles bathing my home in perfume, beauty and unassuming security. Day and night, they guard my home; a barrier of thorns and quiet strength. Several vines grew all the way down the winding drive to my front gate. To the earth and flora surrounding my sanctuary on three sides and the lake and it’s bottom on the fourth. Sensing no breaches, and no one else in my territory I momentarily allow the delight of being bathed in the morning sunlight and slight breeze to drift down the connections. Satisfied that all was well I began the feminine ritual of washing my hair and scrubbing every inch of my body until I felt like a shiny new refreshed woman.

 

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