Elden returned to the dining guests to find that none had noticed his or Rosie’s absence, except that the wine in their glasses had fallen a bit low without her attentions.
With the slightest inclination of his will, the wine that Rosie had prepared and abandoned now distributed amongst the twelve glasses as if rising from below. Were any of the guests paying attention, they would have found their minds wandering in that crucial moment, and their senses then certain that nothing had changed.
But none of them were paying much attention at all. They were all finding that the warmth of the wine was settling into a few particular places more strongly than it usually did, but to their credit, the prim and proper group had remained professional so far. Elden licked the backs of his canines. It would be all the more delicious to break their decorum later.
It had been ages since he’d had an excuse for good, old-fashioned mischief. Now that Rosie was prepared for her next role, there was nobody to wheel out the fifth course—brie and toscano with steaming fresh bread—so it simply appeared amongst the existing dishes on the table.
The guests crooned with delight and helped themselves. The private thoughts of a few guests murmured that they ought perhaps to slow down on the wine if they were starting to think that food was magically appearing, but they dared not share notes with their friends lest they be mocked for getting too drunk.
Elden could help them forget that care. They’d soon have little need for it, or any others. He stepped to the head of the table and raised his hand, a matching glass now there.
“Honored guests!” he said, and every pair of dilated eyes turned towards him. These last few centuries, subtlety had served him better, but the moment reminded him of what it had been like to a be a king. He smiled warmly at his subjects, whose pliant wills were now all too ready to turn towards Elden’s regality.
“I propose a toast,” he continued. “To charity, good food, and great friends.”
Twelve glasses and twelve smiles rose to meet the toast, along with a cheer of “here, here!”
Elden inclined his glass towards them. “Rejoice and drink deep the blessings of life.” A little golden thread of magic curled through his words, and the merry revelers did as they were told. Every glass was empty before it touched the table again.
Elden returned to his spot by the door to enjoy the progression of the fifth course.
In truth, he’d suspected Rosie’s mistake before she’d confessed. By the end of the third course, there hadn’t been a soft cock or a dry cunt at the whole table. The guests had done an admiral job of distracting themselves with conversation and commentary. The two men at one end of the table had gotten into a spirited debate about the best cigar cutting method, while the woman closest to the fire was speculating alongside the man with the tree-shaped pocket square about what cooking method might have produced such exquisitely juicy meat.
These efforts were quickly unraveling. The throbbing of cocks against the insides of neatly ironed trousers became to pressing to ignore, and the best one could do with the moan inspired by an accidental brush against a nipple was try to play it off as a reaction to the cheese.
And so the praise of the food took on a distinctly erotic tone. Moans and curled toes rippled down the table as the diners found they could string together no more cohesive a sentence than how good the food was, how incredibly good, oh and by the way, is it just me or is it very warm in here?
The eyes of the man with the blue pocket square fluttered as his fingertips found the tip of his throbbing cock through the fabric of his trousers, muddled mind insisting that somehow this would solve his problem. “So, so good,” he muttered, at his turn to praise the food.
The one man who had not even dared to so much as subtly reposition his shaft, and who was now feeling the pinch of too-tight trousers especially strongly, finally determined that he could not help but retire to the restroom and do something about this. But as he reached for his napkin to disguise his condition from the rest of the guests, he found that it was no longer there. And before he could think much on the fact that he would have sworn it was just there, another wave of arousal overtook him. He flatted his palms against the top of the table, lest he do what he was so sorely tempted to do, and he muttered something about feeling very, very full.
Elden stepped up beside him then, gleam in his eye. “I hope you’re not too full for dessert.”
The man shivered despite himself, mouth parting as a gasp escaped him. “C-clearly couldn’t be more excited,” he said, forcing a polite smile.
“Excellent,” Elden said. “I think you’ll find it’ll hit the spot just so.”
Twelve glassy eyes fixed on Elden as he stepped out of the room.